Most experts agree that we readers are drawn to stories that pique our interests. Whether we love mystery, adventure, horror, romance or fantasy, the SETTING is make- or-break.
How do we get it right?
1] Do the research. If your story is set in Romania and traveling there is not an option, use all the resources online including libraries, tech papers, books, local experts and universities.
2] use at least three of the five senses in each scene
3] weave setting and narrative into scenes without the "laundry list" effect.
4] always identify the setting at chapter or scene changes. Just a word or two can ground the reader from the start. Don't let them guess where a character is.
5] use the weather to help create mood. The eerie wind, smell of manure, etc. can telegraph what's to come in the chapter