Now, to appreciate the full calamity of the situation, you have to understand that my youngest has been waiting to turn five since he was three and his brother went off to kindergarten without him. He'd been counting down for months. (Literally.) He'd been talking about what he was going to have when I took him out for his special birthday lunch after Library story hour (a chocolate chip Micky Mouse pancake from the local diner). He was going to come to the grocery store and pick out exactly what he wanted for his special birthday dinner (hamburgers and cornbread). Not the best menu, but it was his birthday.
Except: The Pukes.
Magnum to the rescue. He bagged work (with work's approval) and came home in time for story hour. Not only did #3 Son get his special lunch and dinner, but, since I was home to meet the bus, Daddy also took him bowling (he got a strike!) and out for ice cream. And sister is now over The Pukes. We're still on puke watch, but are hoping to escape further repercussions. Now I just need to catch back up with the writing.
In the meantime...
What They Said:
Put weather in. ~ Joseph Hansen
What I Heard:
Details matter. ~ Joe
I think maybe I've mentioned my tendency not to put in description while I draft, yes? It's something I have to watch very closely, otherwise I write action, dialogue, action, dialogue, and on and on like that.
Initially, featureless people would float in space until I'd realize I'd forgotten to situate things, then I'd throw in a nice, solid block of exposition and description to compensate. Yeah, not good. Let me tell you, green trees waving in a gentle breeze ain't the most inspiring of descriptions. Going on for an entire paragraph about it is the surest way to torture a reader. So I watched to make certain description happened in the most organic way possible. But...eh.
Then Mr. Hansen came along, and I got it. I understood that I couldn't simply say Place A exists, Place B exists, and Protagonist is walking from one to another. I needed Protagonist to experience her surroundings specifically from her point of view. To notice how the the drizzle is frizzing her hair or how the otherwise wonderful scent of coffee from a nearby shop is soured by the full garbage cans on the sidewalk that should have been picked up by now, dammit. To stop walking past buildings and start walking past a row of flat-roofed nineteen seventies eye-sores faced in Brickmaster beige.
You don't need to be specific about everything, but you do need to be specific about something. If it can be something definitive, like one building that illustrates the neighborhood, so much the better.
The same goes for people. Which is better? She had a round face with deep-set blue eyes complimented by black hair. Or: She wore workout clothes like a uniform, always black, white, and hot pink. Her thick black hair was perpetually slicked back into a ponytail and her face was almost as muscular as her calves.
No, seriously. Which is better? I've got this character...