I have way too many writing books. I won't lie. I don't read them. I flip through them. They're bathroom reading. Today I read this while eating my salad: It's always necessary to remember that the fiction writer is much less immediately concerned with grand ideas and bristling emotions than he is with putting list slippers on clerks. - The Nature and Aim of Fiction, Flannery O'Connor To put this in context, O'Connor is talking about how writer's often have an abstract concept in mind. She's talking about how they have a sociological or psychological concept they want to communicate and says writers would do well to remember that stories are made of concrete details. It struck me because I write science fiction and fantasy. My education is in psychology. I also have metaphysical leanings. So, I love me an abstraction. But I've noticed my writing is at times, self-indulgently pretty. It's like I'm enamored with my own language. Recently I had to throw out a scene I was told was stunning, beautiful, and breathtaking because I was also told it made no sense. I asked myself, "How did this happen?" The answer was, "I was too busy making things pretty." I've rewritten it and plugged up the plot holes but it still might be too pretty. I'll see. But I'm always trying to learn new things and I suppose I wanted to share my recent maybe learned lesson. Does anyone have any thoughts on abstract vs. concrete or pretty vs. matter of fact?