Once more, I’ll endeavor to go some of my (somewhat) informed opinion, this time regarding -ly adverbs. I recently elucidated a bit about the pitfalls of using these lovely (see what I did there) adverbs in conjunction with dialogue. He said rudely. She remarked kindly. They laughed loudly. On the surface it seems like these -ly modifiers help the reader to understand how an action is happening. But I say trusting your writing is more important than definitively (I am on a roll) telling your reader how things are happening.
Outside the realm of dialogue, the old -ly’s are much more acceptable. He moved silently. He grabbed it quickly. She moved gracefully. Here they can make things a bit more clear when describing an action. And sometimes you can’t avoid them. But what you can avoid is letting them stand on their own, or using them as an easy out:
-He moved silently, like a olive-drab panther, barely making a noise in the brush.
-He grabbed it so quickly it was in his hands in the space of a blink.
-She moved with precision and grace, every inch the archetype of a ballerina.
The three sentences above probably feel am little more descriptive than the simple -ly sentences. These are quick simple fixes, but on occasion and -ly adverb isn’t necessary. If you simply (Somebody stop me) say He sat, in the right context, surrounded by effective description, it can be more powerful than any adverbial modifier in existence, and makes the reader feel more involved in the story.
The crux of the argument is the same argument against over-describing a characters physical attributes. You want the reader to have a personal experience when he reads your work. Taking him or her by the hand and describing, to a T, the exact and complete physical appearance of your character, I,or any other reader, can’t allow our imaginations to stretch out. The same applies to the -ly adverbs. A little physical description is good, helps create an image for the reader. Like a coloring book you supply the lines, and let the reader fill in the color. Again, same concept with the -ly words.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Trust your writing. Give the readers some credit. Most of us are smart enough not to ruin your narrative if you let us fill in some of the blanks.
Once more, this is my opinion, for what its worth. Take it. leave it. But there it is.