So I’ve been working on this novel (it was a dare, and a long story that’s actually quite a short story, about a novel, but not really part of the sentence, I think), and my “beta” readers (ooo, I feel so up-to-date) tell me that at the beginning it lacks a “sense of place.” This is the second time (or was it the third?) I’ve heard this, so telling them it must be their complete lack of imagination, is starting to look a little threadbare.
“Ok, what do you need? More description?” “No, that’s boring.” “Then what?” Silence. So instead I work on my excuses: It’s not dialog, I’m not good at that other stuff, unless it’s poetry and then it’s off in the android belt, or the asteroid belt.
I know now that it really does mean more description which involves the five senses, so the reader can not only see the dirt, but taste it too. so I go read an author that I love, who is a master at this, and the one section I pick has NO description, yet it still works. or maybe it doesn’t and no one has noticed yet all the way to the best-seller list. Sigh.
I love dialog, some people have told me I’m a humor writer, but they neglected to tell me that a while back, so I can’t see it. I mean, I don’t write jokes, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” “Tuesday.”
Liking dialog makes it hard to stay in the chair long enough to describe the pale, glistening, yellow-red-orange of the sunlight dancing over the green-ochre of the toad’s skin as his tongue erupts out of his mouth to snatch the unsuspecting, but nasty-tasting flying insect buzzing by in the autumn evening while the coots argue about odoriferous, algae-bloomed, pond politics.
Maybe it’s time for a beer, except I don’t drink-alcohol doesn’t like me, or, more correctly, my body likes alcohol for 20 minutes then it spends the next several hours trying to get a court order to get it to leave. Chocolate - a much better idea.