Consider this writing advice--not for those who tend to read this blog (they hold their own in the writing world), but for anyone who happens to stumble by. I am by no means a professional writer, and I don't claim to be.
What I am, professionally, is an English teacher. I don't claim to be very good at that, either, but it does afford an opportunity to notice things. My students have an unhealthy addiction to weak verbs. My least favorite: get. What meaning is conveyed in the word, "get"? Damn little. Some students almost exclusively use "get", either as the main verb or some mutant hybrid helping verb. Sheesh.
Today's observation: vivid verbs make writing better, and adding adverbs often hurts a sentence. This might seem elementary, but these bad boys crop up everywhere. When the verbs do most of the work, when they are forced to carry most of the meaning, everybody wins.
Think about a simple verb like "run". Suppose your MC needs to vacate the premises, post haste. Maybe the thing in the basement is creeping up the stairs. Does the MC "quickly run" (snooze) or does she "sprint" or "bolt"?
"Janice noticed the black tendrils at the basement door and bolted for the exit."
"Janice noticed the black tendrils at the basement door and quickly ran for the exit."
The first option has better rhythm--it paints a vivid picture in fewer words.
Verbs can be your best friends. Adverbs can hinder action.
Time to grade more papers...hurm.