I had been sharing my stories with her as part of a writing group for a couple of months, and it took her awhile before she figured out how best to explain what she was feeling. She said that as she read, she saw flashes of imagery and scenes, but it was hard for her to keep up with the narrative because there was not enough "connective tissue" holding these flashes together. In other words, she couldn't see the narrative thread.
I realize that this is still a problem for me today. My mind seems to rush through a story, and have to slow myself down to make sure I get all of my sequential thoughts down on the page instead of just abbreviating them. I can't just write the parts of the story that stand out for me; I have to be sensitive to the other parts that I assume.
Here's an example from Cyberlama that shows how the scene originally came out:
The cores were brought in and laid down on a large examining table. I didn’t pay much attention to them until Norman told me to watch on my monitor. He scanned the cameras over the core.
And here's the scene again after I put in the "connective tissue". This time, I told my self to take little steps and make sure I wrote down all of the thoughts I was experiencing:
The material was brought in and laid down on a large examining table that was equipped with cameras we could maneuver. Each segment of the core was a narrow cylinder about three inches wide and perhaps seven meters long. At first glance, they looked like nothing at all. Just pieces of hard-packed dirt. I didn’t pay much attention to them until Norman tapped me on the shoulder and told me to watch on my monitor.
Slowly, he scanned the camera over the core, moving from the segments that were closest to the earth’s surface down to the deeper sections. As he pointed them out, I noticed several changes in the rock. Some regions were made up of alternating bands of red and brown. Some sections had a brilliant yellow color. Yet other sections looked gray and speckled with round rocks that shimmered with crystals.
This second time around, I felt like I had to put my brain on slow motion so that I could record everything I was seeing. But, I think it makes the scene both more logical and more vivid.
I'm not sure if this recounting will be useful to anyone, but for me it's one of my biggest writing mistakes. I constantly battle with my own tendency to race through my scenes and have to remind myself to take smaller steps.