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‘On-the-ground research can inspire ideas for new stories’

How do you capture the atmosphere of a place?

Creating a vivid world for your reader is essential and of course employing the five senses is one of the most effective ways to achieve that. Memories come with tastes, scents and colours, all of which evoke atmosphere, but for me, I find it mostly helps to visit the places I’m writing about – if they do exist in the real world. And I enjoy meeting people who have lived in these places. Often that sort of on-the-ground research can inspire ideas for new stories, but almost always infuses the narrative with detail that helps bring the scene alive for the reader. If you can’t visit the location, then mood boards are an effective way of strengthening the atmosphere for your reader. Writing to music can also help establish a stronger sense of atmosphere, so long as the music captures the mood of the scene you’re writing.