When I’m writing sci fi (or any fiction, for that matter), I tend to write scenes fairly quickly, without a whole lotta scenery, and then go back and layer that in later.
I usually do an initial draft, an indepth second read and edit, and then two more lighter passes to get everything right.
I find that, especially for shorter stories, choosing a song that fits the theme or mood of the story often helps me “see” it better. For instance, my short story A New Year, about two men who meet, seemingly by chance at first, ever 11 years on new years day was inspired by the Bastille song Laughter Lines, and repeated listenings to the song helped me nail the scenery and mood of the story.
So as a writer, how do you deal with the scenery in your story? And if you’re a reader, do you enjoy a lot of scenery or prefer the stage be set sparsely?