For instance, in Egypt we have people that come around the neighborhood every day shouting "ruba beckia." They are asking people to give them their old stuff so they can then resell it later. They have a unique cry, and their presence is such a part of everyday life, they would have to be included in any story about Egypt. Things like this are important to notice and remember as you begin to write.
A good rule of thumb is to write as if your reader will never experience the people or country you're sharing with them in the story; this will help you to be more deliberate in describing the details of each scene.
Another important factor in writing stories is language. The way people communicate with each other is unique, and even if you are writing in English, you will want to capture their use of vocabulary and sentence structure. One thing that caught my attention early in my life overseas was the way Arabs referred to family.
For instance, when a person is talking with his sister about their mother, he doesn't say, "my or our mother"; he says "your mother did so and so." He always refers to his own mother as the other person's, not his. I never got a good reason for this -- just that it was the way it was done. I tried to capture that in the conversations between characters in my book. We have to listen to the people around us, if our books are going to be realistic.
In general, writing takes work! I never had training in how to write fiction, but I've adapted since the beginning. The first book, I just sat and wrote. The story came out on its own. The second book, I thought more about what I wanted to include in the book and made an outline. I finished it in a much shorter time. The third book took a lot of research as I dealt with areas I was not necessarily submerged in through our ministry. I knew how the book should end before I knew how it should start.
For me, however, writing is not as difficult as "rewriting." The editing process is painful, because you have to step back and look at the whole thing objectively, which is not easy as a writer, but is worth it in order to have a more effective product.
I want to encourage you to use your senses to prepare a data bank of the world about which you want to write, then see where it takes you!
"A Glimpse of Your World" WRITING CHALLENGE: In the comment section, write a description (using all your senses) of the place where you are sitting, right now, reading this post. Try to keep to 100 words.