I've mentioned that I'm working on the sequel to Chasing Filthy Lucre. I'm not that far along, but I'm already seeing something that I may have to go back and fix in the editing. Description, I've got very little of it. I am setting some of the story in a few of the places that I introduced in Lucre. I know that everyone who reads one book won't read the other. That's why I've been spending so much energy trying to make sure I sneak in back story so new readers won't be lost. And I'm trying to reintroduce characters and places in a way that won't bore those who've read Lucre but allows new readers to know who these people are.
When I wrote Lucre I tried to go into some detail in that book about how these places look and what the world of the story was like. I wanted to paint that picture for the reader, and also for myself. I'll admit that it was hard to do. As a writer, I'm not naturally wired to go into deep description. I want the story to move and too much description slows that down. I want a story to move as a reader also. Taking a page to tell me how someone's hair falls across their face or how their eyes are green pulls me out of a story. I prefer one well-thought description about someone thrown into a scene.
I ask these questions because I want to get better. I want to do what the readers want and one criticism I've received from people in my critique group is that I don't go into enough detail about what my characters look like. I don't paint that picture that I mentioned earlier.
So what's the answer here? Do readers want a pretty picture, or do they want that one great detail?