Anyway, let's paint a special, adverbial scenario: Your sentence is sexy. Your verb is particularly sexy. You know what you're doing and the wording is strong. But there's still that pesky adverb and you're not sure whether it's good or not.
Well, 99% of the time, your adverb needs to go. There's a better way to phrase your sentence. Trust me. However, there's that pesky 1% left over and the only way to tell if your adverb is a lucky winner, is to start asking yourself some questions.
Is the adverb superfluous? Does it tell the reader anything new and fresh? Does it throw contrast onto the verb, or does it make everything super repetitive? Is there a reason that your adverb needs to be there?
Let's look at some examples and I'll show you what I mean:
Bad Adverb: She hissed angrily.
Why is "angrily" a bad adverb in this instance? Because the verb "hissed" already has the connotation of anger or displeasure. When you're saying that someone "hissed angrily," you're being redundant. Which is lame.
Good Adverb: She hissed lovingly.
Why is "lovingly" so much better than "angrily"? Because it makes no sense! While many readers can innately determine that a hiss is angry, that's not that case when your hiss is loving. A loving hiss is unique.
Hopefully I'm not talking gibberish here--I kind of feel like I am whenever I start babbling on grammar. What I'm trying to say is that the best thing an adverb can do is throw new meaning onto a verb. Make your adverbs work and put new meaning into your sentences. If your adverb is a contradiction, you have a good case for keeping it around.
So how do you feel about adverbs? Do you cut and slice them away at every possible moment, or do you lavish them on with loving care? Do you agree or disagree with what I'm saying? Tell me in the comments!