Adverbs have been vilified in writing courses, conferences, and circles. "Good writers do not use adverbs." Is that true? Has anyone observed the number of adverbs the classical writers, like Dickens, used? I think we need to be cautious of practically abandoning any part of speech. Writers should keep as many tools at their disposal as possible. Using adverbs does not make or break an author. However, the overuse of anything can be stumbling blocks to the reader, and that includes the same adverbs.
Using similes in the place of adverbs can be good until the author stretches to find some comparison and comes up with some awkward simile that barely makes sense and causes the reader to stop and wonder. I think pulling the reader out of the story to consider the way it is written is a much graver transgression than using an adverb that keeps the story flowing smoothly.
Even worse and what I see more often is a writer using an adjective where an adverb is needed. "She tried to get to work as quick as possible." "The dog moved slow because of its broken leg." "Drive careful now." If it modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb, it should be an adverb. Incorrect grammar is worse than using an "ly" adverb.
I read a blog this week that said telling has its place in writing. The writer explained that to keep from having a 600-1000 page book, it's best not to show everything because it takes much more page space. Some things need to be told quickly, while other things should be shown. I'm not sure I agree with this in its entirety, but I do in part. I feel the same about adverbs. Use a simile or some other method to say what you need to when it fits the story and keeps the flow going, but using a few adverbs won't bother readers. Just don't get carried away with them.