Descriptions are one of those things I struggle with. I rarely appreciate them in novels, and tend to skim over them to see if there’s anything important to the characters or story! So it’s not surprising that my first drafts are rather sparse on the descriptions.
Luckily I have had some great editors, who know just when to ask for extra details, meaning my final drafts are a little less bare. But every now and then, when writing, the scene is so clear in my mind that the description comes easily.
This description is rather simple and short, but hopefully it sets the mood for what is to come. Just to set the scene, they are on a sailing boat (which I described earlier in the scene!)
Elsian had outdone herself. Lyall pulled out a red and white checked rug and spread it out on the wooden deck. Then he arranged the white china plates and the cutlery on it and served a piece of Elsian’s special apple pie for each of them. He hesitated for a moment over the bottle of wine she’d included. He didn’t often drink, but he poured them each a glass anyway. This could be classified as a special occasion.
They ate in companionable silence. After the pie, there were strawberries and cream, followed by little individually wrapped chocolates. Finally, when they could eat no more, they leaned against the railing and looked back towards the harbour, finishing off the last of the wine.
“You’re leaving, aren’t you?” Brianna asked finally.
“Is it that obvious?” Lyall asked ruefully.
Brianna turned and smiled at him sadly, and though he was sad for the expression, it gave him some hope that she was beginning to care about him.
“Will you miss me?” he asked impulsively.
“Lyall,” she protested.
“Brianna,” he put a hand on her arm and looked seriously at her.
She seemed uncomfortable but didn’t pull away. Finally, she sighed. “Of course I’ll miss you,” she said gruffly.
Lyall couldn’t help but smile. “I’m glad.”
“Well, you shouldn’t be.” She punched him playfully, but with a hint of a sting. “Are you planning on coming back?” she asked more seriously.
He sighed. “It’s complicated. I want to, but I don’t know if I can.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means; I don’t know.”
They were silent for a moment, then Brianna opened up a little for the first time. “Back in my village, there’s a boy I was supposed to marry.”
“Yeah, supposed to. But I couldn’t, so I ran away instead.”
“Do you think you’ll ever go back?”
She laughed. “I don’t know.”
“Touché.” Lyall smiled.
He should have been upset that she had someone waiting for her, that she didn’t seem certain about anything, but in actual fact, he felt more positive than he had since they had met. So positive, in fact, that he did something completely reckless.
He leaned across and kissed her.
Are you the type who loves to have detailed descriptions, or do you tend to skim over them?