Just a moment ago, I stopped typing long enough to slug black coffee and devour a chocolate cookie at my desk. Before the final crunch was complete, I wondered why I ever opted for junk when I have a fridge bursting with late summer veggies and fruits, last night’s leftover salmon and a pretty good homemade breakfast casserole.
Getting back to work, I write descriptions, explanations, intentions and persuasions. I share my passion for the places I’ve found and people I’ve met with words like “wonder”, “discover”, enrich”, and “”delight”.
But with a cursory glance, I see that I’ve drenched those perfectly appropriate words with adjectives and adverbs that coat and obscure meaning – like croutons demean the crispness of lettuce, or dressing mutes the clean snap of radish.
As it is with eating, so goes the writing.
The solution must lie in portion control and exercise.
A delectable piece of writing limits the quantity and frequency of embellishments. The properly prepared meat of the story would stand alone, without need for chanterelle or – it pains me to even suggest – commercial steak sauce.
It might be nice to add some steamed veggies with fresh herbs, a clear soup and straight-from-the-oven yeast rolls.
But honest food, like honest writing, needs no globs of this or schplatts of that.
And it is only through exercising the truths we eaters and writers already know that the change occurs.
Often less is more, so when necessary – or simply fun – to add an adjective or a cookie to the effort, the sweetness will be all the more appreciated.
There are definitely parallels between over-writing and over-eating.