Kate cautiously typed the first sentence. Perhaps I should tell people about adverbs, she thought ponderingly. Should I simply tell people absolutely not to use them, or to use them sparingly? Hmm... perhaps I should tell them why editors view them cringingly.
Adverbs used excessively make a story read amateurishly. They are a very, very good example of "telling, not showing," which is something that writers should avoid religiously. While there are some places for adverbs to be used appropriately, those isolated instances should be chosen consciously. Too many will almost certainly result in agents and editors blithely passing on your submission.
Note from DB: Ugh--that was painful to write and proof. If you or some writer you know has a problem saying no to adverbs, consider joining AA (no, not that one). I'm sure you can stop overusing adverbs; the only question is... how?
And you know this post wouldn't be complete without: