Adverb Round-up

Okay guys, here it is.

Twilight has an average of 250 words per page. Actually, the pages surveyed were all a little eerily close to 250. Maybe she really did have a quota. Anyway, there are 498 pages, subtracting 12 for the difference in chapter end and chapter start pages, giving us 486.

According to my counts, there are more than 1360 adverbs in this book, an average of 3 per page. Given that the average page is 250 words long, we would have nearly six pages of just adverbs. One of her actual chapters is shorter than this.

Talk to your kids about adverbs.

25 Responses to “Adverb Round-up”

  1. Millenous Laughter Says:

    This is your novel on adverbs.

    • Adverbs? God, forget that, look at the adjectives. Anyone see how many times she used the world “masochistic” in the series? Gee, Stephie, didja get that one from Reader’s Digest? Just had ta use it to make ya look smart?

      Well, that makes sense… you’d have to be extraordinarily masochistic to read all the books.

      Therefore I am a cured masochist. I am happy to say, NEVER doing that again.

  2. fantasyforever Says:

    And that’s not counting the adverbs used in the dialogue D:

  3. Moon me!

  4. Forestwater Says:

    Uh . . . one of my friends is trying to convince me that adverbs are really, really good. I kind of want to show her this, but it wouldn’t do any good.

    I, however, stand with the genius Stephen King: “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”

    • Okay, THAT needs to be on a God damn shirt!

      • Sarcasmfeeder Says:

        I need that shirt!

        “The road to heck is paved with adverbs”

        -Stephen King

        (road paved with Twilight books)

        My T-shirt design!

    • Whenever I read Mr. King’s book ‘On Writing’, I always find that when he talks about what you shouldn’t do, it’s like a checklist for Meyer’s writing.

  5. Sorry, I still don’t get it. What’s wrong with adverbs?

    But if King says they’re bad, I might as well cut down on my usage…

  6. Reminds me of the Futurama episode where the Robot Devil says “You can’t just have your characters announce how they feel. That makes me feel angry!”

  7. The Neoprene Junebug Says:


  8. I had a friend who used to feel like her writing was weak, so she’d punch it up by using a thesaurus and changing ‘boring’ words to ‘fancy’ words. The trouble was that she didn’t always properly understand usage. It would be like, if someone was ‘oozing with confidence’ she would find that too cliche, so her character would ‘seep with self-assurance’.

    She had her poor male characters seeping…

    Every time I see a sample of Smeyer’s writing, I think of this method. I’m pretty sure she used it. I’m pretty sure she used her crummy thesaurus on every adverb and adjective in her stupid books.

    They should make you get a licence for thesauruses.

  9. Hey, I’m a Twilight hater. I abhor SMeyer’s style. But I certainly don’t agree with the whole adverb-phobia thing. Yes (and that’s an adverb), the overuse of overly conspicuous adverbs, especially everything that ends with “ly”, manner adverbs, is considered poor writing. But going as far as saying “you should avoid adverbs altogether” is simply RIDICULOUS. Proper use of adverbs can create layers in writing no other type of word could: you’d need an excessive wording to express the same idea. Also, most people don’t realize when they’re using adverbs: If they did, they’d notice how important they are to everyday speech and creative writing alike. So entertaining the notion that adverbs are wrong is preposterous at best. Try going through a single day without using adverbs or adverbial constructions. I assure you, you won’t succeed. It’s only natural. How can you be expected to write in a compelling manner if your texts don’t sound natural?

    Having said that, I realize that’s not the case of the “totally incredibly talented” Stephenie Meyer, bless her soul. Adverbs will fuel the fire of her funeral pyre, that’s for sure.

    • And I would have to strongly disagree with that. I find that using adverbs doesn’t create extra layers; in fact, it’s usually what causes excessive wording in the first place. Like most other people have said on the subject, usually if you use an adverb, it’s to explain away a weak verb. So in those cases, don’t tack on an adverb, use a different verb! Why say, “He frowned angrily,” when “He scowled,” is a much stronger image and yes, takes away excessive wording!

      As for the “it’s only natural” comment, it’s also only natural for us to stutter, use a lot of “uhms” and have long awkward pauses while searching for words and ideas when we’re talking, but if people in books spoke “naturally,” most readers would get pretty impatient with it. Sounding good in speech doesn’t translate to sounding good on paper.

      • Marooned Says:

        Agreed. Sounding good in speech doesn’t translate to sounding good on paper. But swearing off adverbs as a part of speech is most absurd. “Strongly”, “usually”, “much”, are some of the adverbs you used writing that post. Do you think you could have written those phrases without using an adverb or an adverbial construction, while retaining the same ideas? I don’t think so. It’s a loss in layers. Sure, you could have used the verbs alone, but they wouldn’t have the same depth of meaning.

        That’s what I mean. You probably couldn’t go through a day without saying yes or no. And those are adverbs as well. Why would it be any different with writing? Sure, your example shows a quintessential misuse of an adverb, and certainly those must be avoided, especially in literary works, but to use one of the many facets of adverb use to stigmatize the category as a whole is nonsensical. Excessive manner adverbs: stylistically wrong. But frowning upon all adverb use is like doing so on prepositions, or conjunctions: ludicrous. I agree wholeheartedly on the weak verb point, my problem lies with the fallacy of generalization.

        Besides, why do we only consider narrative while referring to literature? What about dialogue?

  10. I wonder what would happen if Smeyer’s thesaurus was taken away…

  11. I like the fact that there are so many adverbs. It’s a great drinking game. Challenge your friends to ask something ‘significantly’.

    If they can’t they have to down that shot of Tequila.

    Hilarity ensues.

  12. ColorfulNeko Says:

    “He lay perfectly still in the grass, his shirt open over his sculpted, incandescent chest, his scintillating arms bare.” So. Many. Modifiers.

  13. There is definately a lot to learn about this subject.
    I like all the points you have made.

  14. schillingklaus Says:

    I prefer fiction with loads of adverbs, and none of your tyrannic propaganda and King’s lies will ever deter me from writinmg them shamelessly and religiously.

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