Know Your Setting
It’s always important to know your setting whether it be based on a real location or one you made up. Most of my short stories are set in small towns. I grew up in a small town. It’s what I know best.
They’re like fingerprints. Each is unique and charming in their own way. It’s the perfect setting for a horror story. Someone caught in an isolated place and you don’t know what to expect. Are the townspeople really as friendly as they seem or are they all cannibals? They have an abundance of potential.
You can make the town themed. You have plenty of real ones to inspire you. There is Hell, Michigan, you have a pretty good idea what you’ll find there. Coober Pedy, Australia is an underground town. It’s basically too hot to live above ground. So, they moved below it, making dugouts their homes. Cassadaga, Florida is a haunted town inhabited by Spiritualists. Metropolis, Illinois is the home of Superman.
Use a real place or make one up. Know your setting as if you’re living and breathing it. If you can believe it to be real, so can your readers.