Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
I find this true of many books. They only put down the barest essentials of the description necessary to get a picture in the mind's eye. I have no idea what the interior of the spaceship in Star Dragon looks like, not even the colors of the walls, but I don't really need to. I've seen enough starships to come up with something, and the hallways have nothing to do with the story. I don't need to know how far the missile launching place is from the conference room.
I like to paint the most vivid picture I can, to try and get as much character insertion as possible. But I find that my descriptions are very bland, and I can't vary the sentence structure enough to not sound like I'm a four-year old (The chair was blue. The chair was in the middle of the room). So I compromise and try and put down the highlights. For example, recently someone went into a very lavish mansion area. I noted the couch, the fireplace, the suit of armor, and the beige carpet. I hope that works, and that I'm not a blind man touching an elephant.
Labels: writing advice