I live for those little details as a reader. They give you a sense of time and place. They set the tone. As a writer I love layering those details into the story. It's no secret that I enjoy the editing process over writing the first draft. I could edit all day long. Writing the first draft? Two hour tops and I'm done. Once I get to the middle of the story there are some days I'd rather be sitting in the dentist office having teeth pulled.
I'm also busy researching as I've have a characater involved in politics. I know next to nothing about the inner workings of our federal government or the what happens on Parliament Hill. But doing research is tricky. It's all fun and games until you get sucked in so far you're never finding your way out. All of a sudden people are asking when supper is. Supper? What happened to the afternoon?
Then I start printing out tables with sunrise and sunset times. Sometimes maps. Pictures. So I have a sense of the details that need to be added.
That's what happens when I'm in the thick of things which I am right now.
One of the books I'm reading right now is The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley. It is two stories in one. A contemporary one and an historical one. It is so rich in detail that I have no trouble at all imagining myself in Russia with young Anna and Catherine the Great. It's lovely writing that uses all the senses to take the reader on a wonderful journey.
If you're a writer, what does your process look like? As a reader do you prefer books rich in detail? Or do you prefer a more 'just the facts' type of story?