Daily Archives: December 1, 2010

Moderation–live by it!

Minutes after leaving work today, I arrived at church to cook beignets (bin-yays) for our advent supper–and yes, this does have to do with writing. 

This past summer, our youth group attended a National Youth Gathering in New Orleans.  While there, we stopped by the French Quarter and had the famous French delights at Cafe DuMonde.

As a thank you gift to our congregation for supporting our youth on our trek, we made beignets as a dessert.   While everyone seemed to enjoy the yummy goodness, I’m quite certain we’ll never be asked to make them again. 

The reason: frying 150 doughey squares in under 90 minutes is the closest I’ve come to starting a building on fire.  The smoke burned our eyes and the air was thick with grease.  My hair stinks.  My clothes stink.  Heck, I stink.

Which brings me to the writing tie-in and the mantra to live our lives by.

Moderation is fabulous.  Excess is, well, excessive.  It can also be the beignet that burned down the church. 

  • Too many adjectives diminish the impact of the words around them.
  • Too many pronouns and we can easily lose track of who/whom/that which we are talking about.
  • Too many dialogue tags can turn our characters into whimpering, teeth-gritting, muttering, spluttering caricatures.
  • Too much detail can bore a reader to tears.
  • Too much…

You get the picture. 

One beignet is a treat.  Two might be perfect.  Three borders on the obscene.

Write with just enough flair to entice and delight, but not too much that your writing stinks. 

My shower awaits~