You have an idea and it's brilliant - hell, you already know your main character's name and have drafted the major plot points.
Now though, it's time to build a world where your readers can explore, get lost, and fall in love with. No pressure or anything...
Creating a fictional place is one of the most difficult aspects of writing fiction, but we have a few tips that might make things easier.
Relatable Sprinkles in your Setting
Maybe you've set your story in some dystopian wasteland, the arctic tundra, or some mystical forest.
No matter how close, or far, your setting may be from reality, you must have glimpses of things that are relatable to your readers.
A sunset. Humid air. Tall grass blowing in the wind. A majestic or painful dust-storm.
These are all things that a reader can hold onto as they jump head-first into your fictional place. These relatable sprinkles of reality are touchstones for readers even when your setting is obscure.
Your fictional place must have an atmosphere. You're probably rolling your eyes, but we're serious.
In your fiction place, your protagonist will be living, breathing, moving, and experiencing conflict - without an atmosphere, they can't do that.
Tell your readers about the weather. The way the ground feels. The air. Smells. If you're having trouble, cater to the 5 senses.
Also, consider how the atmosphere makes your characters feel. Are they tense? Joyful? Scared? In your descriptions of the atmosphere, you must convey these sensations and feelings too.
Character and Place: A Relationship
Your protagonist has to operate in the fictional place you've created. They don't just walk on it.
Protagonists typical latch onto certain aspects of their environment. Something familiar. A resource. An area. What they latch on to also reveals something about their character.
Carve out space for your protagonist in your fictional place - allow your character to enhance the space, and vice-versa.
Creating a Fictional Place
When creating a fictional place, expect some trials and tribulations. Remember some of these tips and keep writing - you'll create something amazing for your readers.