Monday, March 5, 2012

Absolute Virtues of Writing (+a blog design giveaway!)

I  had two excellent high school band directors who liked to bring timid players out of their shell. 

They would tell us:  "No one's going to say, 'No, no no!  That's WAY too expressive!' or, 'Tone it down!  That's TOO musical!' or, "too beautiful!' " 

And we'd all laugh and realize that there were some things you couldn't take too far.  There are some things, like musicality and expressiveness and beauty that are the end of music, the goal of music--and therefore you can't have too much of them. 

The point my band directors were trying to make was that you can't shy away from these things if you want to be any good.  You have to relentlessly pursue them. 

Writing is much the same.   No one is going to read your book and tell you: 

"That was awful--way too exiting!" 

or...  "Too much tension!  I couldn't take it!" 

or...  "No, no, no!  Too interesting!" 

or...  "It was just too meaningful for me." 

or...  "Far too inspirational.  You need to tone it down." 

There are some things we can't have too much of as writers.  Can you think of any others?  How do you push yourself to achieve these "absolute virtues" in writing, or which ones do you appreciate the most in books you read?

Also, Whimsical Blog Designs is having a custom blog design giveaway!  Click HERE to enter!


  1. Emotion. You can never have too much emotion, though sometimes it feels otherwise. Emotion is not to be confused with angst, of which more than zero is too much :P

    1. Yes, I think as long as it's *motivated* emotion, you can't have enough. I guess proper motivation is another one...

      "Your characters' actions and thoughts are just too properly motivated!" I think it works. :)

  2. Great post!! It's food for thought.

  3. Ha! So true. I love it. Good reminders to have. We really need to break out of our shells and let it all out!