Monday, March 27, 2017
At Literary Hub, Ben Blatt conducted an empirical study. The results:
The median fan-fiction author used 154 -ly adverbs per 10,000 words, which is much higher than either of the professional samples. The 300-plus megahits in the bestseller category averaged just 115 -ly adverbs per 10,000 words. And the 100 [literary] award winners have a median of 114 -ly adverbs. It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, but the novels that sell well in bookstores come in with 25% fewer adverbs than the average novel that amateur writers post online. Less than 12% of all number one bestsellers had more than 154 adverbs, even though half of all fan fiction does.
While Ernest Hemingway used 80 adverbs per 10,000 words, Toni Morrison uses 76 per 10,000 words.
You can read more here.