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~