In literary circles, the use of adverbs in stories is seen as a “no-no.”
Best-selling author Stephen King makes a compelling case for their non-use in his worthwhile book, Stephen King on Writing.
“The adverb is not your friend,” he writes, comparing them to dandelions spreading in a lawn.
“With adverbs, the writer usually tells us he or she is afraid he/she isn’t expressing himself/herself clearly, that he or she is not getting the point or the picture across.”
Note the adverb in that sentence.
Yes, adverbs exist. They do have a function. They’re even used in best-sellers.
Here are examples from Chapter One of an extremely popular book:
“Shoo!” said Mr. Dursley loudly.
Mr. Dursley tried to act normally.
“No,” she said sharply. “Why?”
“I suppose so,” said Mrs. Dursley stiffly.
“Oh, yes,” said Mr. Dursley, his heart sinking horribly. “Yes, I quite agree.”
“My dear Professor, I’ve never seen a cat sit so stiffly.”
Professor McGonagall sniffed angrily. “Oh yes, everyone’s celebrating, all right,” she said impatiently.
“You can’t blame them,” said Dumbledore gently. “We’ve had precious little to celebrate for eleven years.”
“I know that,” said Professor McGonagall irritably.
“No, thank you,” said Professor McGonagall coldly, as though she didn’t think this was the moment for lemon drops.
Dumbledore reached out and patted her on the shoulder. “I know — I know –” he said heavily.
Dumbledore nodded glumly.
“A letter?” repeated Professor McGonagall faintly, sitting back down on the wall.
“Exactly,” said Dumbledore, looking very seriously over the top of his half-moon glasses.
She eyed his cloak suddenly as though she thought he might be hiding Harry underneath it.
“I’m not saying his heart isn’t in the right place,” said Professor McGonagall grudgingly, “but you can’t pretend he’s not careless.
“For a full minute the three of them stood and looked at the little bundle; Hagrid’s shoulder shook, Professor McGonagall blinked furiously, and the twinkling light that usually shone from Dumbledore’s eyes seemed to have gone out.”
“Well,” said Dumbledore finally, “that’s that.”
Stephen King includes Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in his Recommended Books list.