Of course, rules are made to be broken, but only when broken with skill. There's a place for all the items listed above, and they can often add a new layer to our work. But when overdone... well ... bleugh. 'Nuff said.
Tingling spread rapidly down my neck, and dropped quickly lower, like bony fingers scraping my stiff spine. I tensed at the eerie familiar feeling, a fleeting moment of intense panic freezing my shaking hand like a leaf in the wind, as I reached out to pay the portly shop keeper.
“You gonna pay, or just stand there all day?” he snarled, his intense fear at my presence bursting forth as bitter anger like a dam breaching its walls.So... how'd you go reading that? Did you make it to the end? Quit after the first sentence when the overabundance of -ly's made your stomach squirm? Want to take a red pen to the awful similes?
Is this better?
Tingling spread down my neck, and dropped lower, like fingers scraping my spine. I tensed at the familiar feeling, a fleeting moment of panic freezing my hand as I reached out to pay the shop keeper.
“You gonna pay, or just stand there all day?” he said, his fear at my presence coming out as anger.
Ok, so that's still not perfect prose by any means. But it is an improvement, no?
I can't speak for everyone, but when I read a book that has excessive amounts -ly's, likes, as ifs, and althoughs I cringe, and depending how bad it is, sometimes I stop reading all together.
I have just been reading a series (a NY Times bestselling series I might add) where EVERY page had at least one simile on it. Not exaggerating. And every time I came across a passage where tall buildings were described, before I even read it I knew there would be a line like "skyscrapers like daggers reaching for the sky," or "like shards of glass piercing the sky." EVERY TIME. Talk about distracting.
So, what do you think? Are you a minimalist when it comes to description? Believe the -ly's should never be seen? Same with the 'likes'? Are are you a bit more forgiving of this type of thing?