Creative writing, as well as reading a good story are both very psychological processes. If you are a writer, you want your reader to “feel” the story, to feel empathy (or perhaps apathy) towards your characters. You want to evoke certain emotions and feelings in your reader and make the story come to life before their eyes, often using nothing but words. These tips are aimed specifically at getting the most out of your location descriptions, as there is a lot of unused potential in there. The location where your story is set is pretty much a “secret” character. It’s not only where the story takes place, but it interacts with the story and plot as well. A romantic relationship in New York City is very different from a relationship between those same characters in Rio de Janeiro. Invest time in writing good locations, because it will give your story a solid base.
Use the senses
A place really comes to life for your reader when you use your senses. We don’t experience the real world via letters, but via our senses. Try to simulate that experience for your reader by describing the different sensations. As a writer, follow your nose, eyes and ears. Open them to the details of your location. Describe the flowering buds, the smell of the leaves that have just fallen from the trees, the light buzz of bees and other life. That way your reader will really feel like they’re there. A forest will rarely have a big sign that says ‘it’s fall/autumn!’ , instead focus on what makes it fall/autumn. Perhaps talk about the colours, the smell and the sounds.