Generally, we think of the setting of a story as when and where the story takes place. But aside from the physical location and position in time, other pieces of your setting can include:
- weather (is it raining? windy? warm? snowing?)
- political climate (if your government going through an upheaval? Are there minorities who are persecuted?)
- social norms (can women and men be seen together in public? are children sent away to school?)
- cultural influences (is rock music banned in this world? is there only one news channel controlled by the government?)
As writers, we need to take sufficient time to consider these aspects to build a complex world for your characters. Setting can affect most every other part of your story, so whatever time you designate to building your setting, it won’t be wasted.
Particularly in fantasy and sci-fi worlds, a lot of planning goes into establishing a convincing and engaging story setting that can either add to your plot or take away from it.