INT. COURTROOM - DAY
A typical courtroom, packed with members of the press and as many onlookers as it can hold. In the front row, the relatives of the victim sit together, stone-faced.
And that's about it. If the relatives have speaking parts, I would describe them very briefly when they first speak, but again it would be just a few words.
In a novel, you won't get far writing just "She entered a typical courtroom." Even though the trend is toward less description these days, you need to pick out a few details to make the setting and the people come alive.
One method I've found useful is drawing.
Drawing forces you to observe.
If you're drawing a person, you notice the chunky shoes that lady is wearing, that this man's shirt isn't tucked in at the back, or that this young waitress has the top of a tattoo peeking out above the neck of her blouse.
If you draw the coffee shop, you notice that the water jug is cracked, the chalkboard on which someone has a written the word muffins with one f, and there are lots of slices of carrot cake left in the display case but not many chocolate ones.
You don't have to be good at drawing and you don't have to show the results to anyone. The point of doing it is doing it.
If you are really drawing-phobic, you can even just jot down the details you would draw if you were going to draw.
It's also not about using the specifics you see, it's about training ourselves to see them in the first place.
Give it a try, it's fun.
(You'll find lots more tips in my book, "Your Writing Coach"--which also makes a great present! You can get it from Amazon and other book sellers.)