By Angela Ackerman: How To Vividly Describe a Setting That You’ve Never Visited

One of the big decisions writers are faced with is whether to choose a real location for the backdrop of their overall story, or create one of their own imagining. Crafting a world from scratch is a lot of work (requiring a deep understanding of the society, infrastructure, rules, governmental influence, as well as a million other details). But it also avoids a big problem associated with real-world locations: reader bias. This is when the reader’s own emotional ties to a place influence their reading experience.