Congrats on Stormed Fortress, always wonderful to see a new title on the shelves - though I won't get to it for some time, I'm only 2/3 way through Merior!
One thing that always amazes me about your stories is the sheer depth of details that go into your description, so much so that the reader can actually see Sethvir's clutter or the tangles in Dakar's beard.
Do you have any pointers, then, for an aspiring writer, on description and/or setting? What to include, what to leave out? I'm far more of a dialogue person, rather scant on description other than a bare minimum, but now that my manuscript is "almost" ready I feel I need to address this.
Any help is much appreciated.
Dee - seek detail that adds something to the story, and bears directly on the scene at hand:
mood - could be LIKE the mood of the characters or scene, or IN CONTRAST TO. This gives a meaning to the backdrop.
Character detail -- if I said to you, "she kept bits of dried flowers, kernels of corn, a bow from a birthday card when she was 12, and a Jack Daniels label along with the keys and the cell phone in her purse" - you'd have a vivid picture of the character involved - and would want to know WHY the mysterious objects were there.
Details that move the story along, set the pacing, are important. You'd NOT load them in fast dialogue or action, but would have set that stage ahead of time.
Use smell, texture, touch when you want to make the scene MORE vivid to the reader - these bits trigger emotional response more strongly than visuals.
The more you involve the five senses, the more "alive" the scene will be - but use judgment where you put stuff, so you connect the pace, and don't slow it.
Thanks for that, Janny.