This is a wonderful “pocket-sized” writing guide for authors that gives you a quick reference for avoiding those pitfalls–over-use of adverbs and clichés. As the author points out these “subversives” weaken your prose and produce lack-luster stories; they deaden your unique voice.
What I liked about this book was it’s no nonsense approach. Ms. Bell states the purpose succinctly and clearly (adverbs can be useful), and doesn’t burden us with more RULES: Thou shalt never use a cliché.
She gives excellent advice and provides easy-to-use examples of 34 common adverbs and associated clichés used to express ideas or emotions. I really appreciated the example paragraphs for each of these sets. The first two paragraphs rely on adverbs and clichés. The third she calls the Unique Example, and it shows how much more exciting and vivid writing becomes, using details and your unique style.
This is a workbook and a great resource for writing teachers and writers. I love having it.