Tina's #randomwritingtweet #6 - Using "Suddenly"
After introducing the topic, I feel like saying any more is superfluous. I can sense you already smiling and nodding, but just in case...
I write the word "suddenly" and I'm suddenly thrown back to grade school. Why is that? It is a word, after all. It might be because many writers overuse it, and when they do, it's redundant. Let's have a look.
Suddenly, Jim jumped up and startled everyone.
Do you see it? Of course this happened suddenly. Someone jumping up--assuming all was calm before this--is inherently "a sudden act". Also, since everyone was startled, it also suggests that Jim's action was sudden.
I'd also like to point out that writers tend to use "suddenly", among other such words, as a way to ease into a sentence. Sometimes, a writer will use it, unwittingly, in an attempt to improve the rhythm or flow of the text. This is a valid concern, but if you are aware of an issue with the rhythm, flow, cadence, beats per sentence (writers describe it in various ways), then don't simply default to "suddenly"; try to make each words count, even if it means you have to rewrite the sentence or paragraph.