Setting is important to root your reader, but you can get away with only having pieces of it. In my opinion, include only what is integral to the character in that moment. What’s pushing them forward – or holding them back?
Ditto! And, if you can, use something IN the setting that feeds into the mood of the opening, or foreshadows a conflict or trouble-spot. Daisies included. 🙂 But it can’t just be wallpaper (so to speak). You have to have a solid reason for whatever you put into words for being there on the page at that time.
My medical romances are contracted to come in between 50k and 55k words. That is NOT a lot of time to spin the tale.
Yep. I write 12,000-15,o00 word novellas and short stories for anthologies (including one for George R R Martin–I was THRILLED when he asked!). You really have to hit the ground running and every word, every image has to do double-duty.
Tight writing rocks.
//Interstellar Adventure Infused with Romance//