Everyone knows it’s the plot and characters that make the story. However, everything happens somewhere. The wrong setting can break your story, like a Japanese love story happening on the moon. Unless you have a plot to pull off the above, it wouldn’t make much sense.
The first thing you have to decide is a real setting or fictional setting.
For a Real Setting, it’s best to use a place you have lived in or visited before. Why?
Well, if you’re going to be writing about it, you need to be detailed enough to sound like the location. You can’t write a story about London, but end up describing New York. You need your readers to feel like they are there too.
Now this is the one I’ve been waiting for. Most of my stories revolve around a fictional setting. In my opinion, this is easier than the realistic path because you literally make this world, so no description you give of it can be wrong.
Now there’s semi-fictional and really fictional.
Semi is like Gotham. The city is within the United States on Earth. It have realistic features and can be like any other city. However, it doesn’t exist. You cannot visit Gotham. Yet, it’s normal enough that you feel like you can.
Now, there’s pure fiction. Like my upcoming novel, Native Foreigners. It takes place on another planet. Though it’s features have some resemblance to Earth, such as deserts, cities, and small towns. The planet is tidally locked, most of the water is underground, and native wildlife.
Now, how do I make a fictional world?
It’s easy. Close your eyes and think of your characters running around doing the plot stuff. Where are they? What does the world around them look like? Is it a large city? Is it the suburbs, or country? Does it rain a lot or none at all? Are there lots of plants? What does it smell like? What does it feel like? What does their house look like? Is it gloomy or happy? Do they see more sunlight or moonlight? Where are they?
Now, that you felt their setting, look at pictures of places that sort of resemble your setting. This helps describing the aspects that you imagine while helping you come up with a more detailed version of your own ideas.