A writer uses words to paint a scene. Just saying a character walks into a bedroom is not enough for a reader. The writer has to give the words for the reader to actually see the action and the scene, or at least enough for the reader’s imagination to fill in the rest. Too often, the scene is empty. The reader can’t see it in their mind.
Give An Outline
An author puts a character in a scene. It doesn’t have to be so detailed that every leaf and blade of grass is described. All you need is a good outline for the reader to use.
Are the characters walking down a path? Is it day or night? Summer or winter? Quiet or noisy? An outline answering these questions could easily be all you need in describing the scene. Unless boulders nearby are important to the story, you don’t have to describe them. Readers can fill in the picture.
The Problem With Too LIttle
Why is so little description a problem? It can make the story weak. A scene is a diner with only main character talking makes them isolated. It isn’t real. It’s just stiff talk. Add in the noise of a plate breaking when dropped or the sound of conversation around the main characters to make the scene come alive. A reader gets more into a story when they can hear, smell, and feel the scene. A well described diner scene has me reliving my experiences and putting them in the story as a reader.
It can also make the story unrelatable. I wrote a scene in a hospice facility. Several readers commented on the scene brought back vivid memories. The result was their need to finish reading it. They could relate to the scenes. There was enough description to feel familiar so they could focus on the characters and dialogue.
Remember that in writing you want the reader hooked. The right about description can do that with well developed characters and plot.
The Problem With Too Much
That being said, you can have too much description as well. That is a big turnoff to many readers. I once read in a novel five standard pages of just a pathway described that the protagonist was walking down. The path had no bearing to the story. That was in the first chapter. Everything was described in minute detail. The end result was that I stopped reading after the second chapter and never read that author again.
Only a select group of readers love such details in a scene. If you are writing for them, great! I fno, you will lose a ton of readers with too much description.
The amount of description in your scenes can be a make or break for some readers. Have enough to give the scene meat but not so much that you smother your readers.