Fancy Pants Author Thinks I Know What Specific Types of Trees Look Like
The difference between fiction and literature is how specific the author is about the plants in each scene. If the author writes “they walked by the forest”, that’s fiction, possibly even young adult fiction. If they write “they walked beneath the European Larch and beyond the Populus grandidentata”, congratulations, you’re reading a Great Work of Literary Fiction!
Just write “tree”. It’s fine, really. I know many of the great works of literature were written back when people knew about types of trees and frogs and the Latin names for bodies of water. But I promise, you can just write “tree”. I’ll picture a tree of some kind. It’s fine. What kind? Whatever kind you’re picturing now, asshole.
No, no. I don’t want to google “Sugar Maple”. I don’t give a shit. I’m trying to relax and explore what it means to be human, not research foliage. The characters can have a nice moment under a tree, ok? I’m sure an Eastern White Pine is a beautiful tree, and I’m sure if I knew what it was it would add to the scene. But I don’t. I’m guessing it has a trunk and some branches and lives outside. It’s probably white-ish. Who gives a shit?
Unless the main characters are fuckin’ Ents, the point isn’t the goddamn trees. Make a special version of the novel for the nerds, if you like. Jane Eyre w/Latin Tree Names Edition. Otherwise it’s distracting for ignorant machine people like me, i.e everyone in the 21st century.
If you really have to be fancy -schmancy about it, you can round up to the nearest type of plant. There are five, as far as I’m concerned: flowers, spindly vine guys, big dinosaur leafers, regular tree trees and those stooping drunk canopy things from paintings of rivers. That’s it. Describing the rest is a waste of paper.