One of the things I do when I'm travelling is to keep a journal. I include the events of the day to help me remember later when I see my photos. But I also try to capture smaller things, like the food we ate, those funny little things that happen that you sometimes forget later, and a few details about what each place is like.
I know I will use some of these things later, in the scrapbooks I'm hoping to one day finish (like my novel, they are barely started). But I also think that someday, they will find their way into a novel or story.
This week I'm in Florida, and it's so different from where I live in Canada. The sun seems extra bright, the ocean water is so warm, there are lizards everywhere we go --- so many details that make it unique. Those details that I find when I travel are the kinds of details that need to go into a story to make it seem real. When I create the world of my story, I like to imagine that I'm walking through it, seeing what my character might see. It wouldn't be a bad idea to take a "mental vacation" to the story world.
What strategies do you have for creating an interesting story world?