That’s why it’s important to know exactly what you want to say, not just what sounds good, and to say it as precisely as possible. For people who recall the story of Goldilocks — a little girl looking for just the right everything — it’s important that the language of a story, especially description, not include too much detail or too little, but just enough. It also needs to be the right detail. Consider these two examples:
- In a couple of weeks she would have another birthday, thirty, emerging from an odd number, twenty-nine, into a roundness, a fullness that seemed an unreachable, unbridgeable distance.
- In two weeks she would be thirty, emerging into the fullness of womanhood, which seemed even now an unbridgeable distance.