I've talked a lot about characters and character development on this blog, but there is one thing that's just as important as any of that stuff: Setting.
One thing I've been conscious about through this whole writing process is where all this stuff is going on. If setting wasn't important, why in the world did you pick it to be where you did? There has to be a reason for it, and it better be a darn good one.
To me, where the story is taking place is just as important, and sometimes more important, as the people that are walking around in there. I'm trying to make where it takes place into one of the whos.
It's a living, breathing thing that affects how the people in the book react to each other. I plan on using it to the fullest.