The Best of the Thinking Quill – Adverbs

Hi de hi, and happy days.

Your teacher, Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV, famed for the immortal ‘Fatswhistle and Buchtooth’, is here with a bag of sweeties for good children, a rap on the knuckles with a ruler for bad children, and a smile of beatific contentment. One is ready to be kindly teacher aujourd’hui.

But. As I sit at my desk and pen this lesson the siren call of other ways and other enticements draws mine eye from the pristine page. Oh to be free of the shackles of teacherly duty! Oh to merely wander barefoot the grassy tracks of…

No, wait. Compose thyself pedagogue… Duty demands. Of us all. Pay attention mes enfants.

Lesson 33: The Write Adverbs

Let us for a moment consider the adverb, close cousin to the adjective, for the less well educated among my pumpkins this is the descriptor of action as opposed to the descriptor of object.

One can, of course enrich one’s literary efforts with adverbs in much the same fashion as one should with the humbler adjective.

Consider if you will the verb to walk. One can have one’s protagonist simply walking, but how dull, how lifeless, how detrimentally uninteresting! Why not express sorrow by having him walk listlessly, painfully, unheedingly? Equally, a happy camper may walk springily, cheerfully, expeditiously. A sick person walks stumblingly, haltingly, agonisingly. A poor man shamblingly. A rich man arrogantly. A lover voluptuously and with the sun dappling golden skin with flecks of purest amber, or sensuously with high arched feet bruising the sward to release the fragrance of grasses and crushed herbs, or silently unheard until a beloved hand brushes one’s cheek or cups the globes of one’s… No. Desist ye from this primrose path lector. We have no room here for reminiscence. There is work to be done, lessons to be learned, students to be brought to a higher place of understanding.

Back to our muttons. Consider if you will the difference between two sentences essentially providing the reader with the same set of informations.

Firstly: Ariadne walked into the temple clearing.

Secondly: Ariadne walked tremulously, with her tiny feet barely bruising the grass, she breathed shyly in shallow gasps as fear and enrapturement in equal measure brought her creeping silently into the dappled shade of the goddess’ own glade.

Add your add-jectives and add-verbs. Add them or there will be no sweeties for you and no ice cream. Decorate your prose, so that it becomes as luscious as the fur on some great golden cat that rests throughout the day draped in the branches of a banyan tree.

Learn well, and if I feel your understanding I may yet decide to divulge unto you the dearest secrets of my own heart and soul. Do I hear you beg of me one tiny clue? Very well. Just one…

Before. Mumsie entered the room where one was attempting to work at her usual shambling and graceless half-canter accompanied by those other drunken minions of misfortune whose methods of perambulation were as varied as they were unpleasing to the eye. Some limped, some ambled, some were upheld by others as their liberal potations had rendered their lower limbs unreliable and somewhat of the texture of rubber bands…. One watched in increasing dismay as they filled the family abode with hawking, spitting, sweating, malodorous flesh. And then… And then. One came – into that turbid pile of human excrescence. One came. Gold and graceful as a great jungle cat. One came….

Pauses to rearrange one’s mind.

Great feline
Walking softly
Eyes meet eyes
Dampness of palms
Heat in the depths
Great feline
Notice one, please
Lest one fade
To nothing
Under the unregard
Of your amber gaze

So, my children, you have your clue.  Study with assiduity the adverb in all its forms.

Next time. The denouement.

Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV

You can find more of IVy’s profound thoughts in How To Start Writing A Book courtesy of E.M. Swift-Hook and Jane Jago.

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