Alan H. Jordan
Alan H. Jordan asked Jeff Gunhus:

Your books have a lot of concrete detail. Do you usually write the details in layers? That is do you start out with something like "Nick Hockley leaned forward searching the street..." and wind up with "Nick Hockley leaned forward against the steering wheel, eyes searching the colorless brick buildings that slid by on either side of the street...." Do you add one sense at a time?

Jeff Gunhus Thanks for the question, Alan. Deciding the right amount of sensory detail to include in a scene is a constant consideration. My style is to get the first draft out as quickly as possible. This is the fertilizer draft, the pile of manure out of which great things will later grow. During this draft, I describe enough to get the image in my mind down on paper. During rewriting, I Goldilocks my way through the book deciding when there's too little or too much. At this point, I do rifle through the senses to see if I'm missing an opportunity. For example, I love how Hemingway always remembered to include the sense of taste in his writing and I rarely do on a first draft so I look for those opportunities. Ultimately, I try to read my own work as a fan of fiction and ask whether I feel immersed in the world as I read. If I don't, then it's back to the drawing board. Thanks again!

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