Thorough world-building needs be a part of any fiction effort, whatever the genre. It is not just for fantasy and science fiction! I took as much care laying out my fictitious Florida town of Cully Beach as I did in creating the world of the Mora or of Donzalo’s Destiny.
So I laid out a street map of Cully Beach with every place mentioned in the novels (‘Shaper’ and ‘Waves’) clearly marked. I also drew up floor plans for not only the Cully Beach Surf Shop but also Kay’s Korner. I worked as a draftsman at one point (before you had those CAD programs to let you cheat!) so it was not that big an undertaking for me. This would be the house as originally built in the Fifties, as it was when Ted Carrol bought it and moved in:
And this was after he renovated it into the surf shop, still living in the back (and adding a shed behind it for board building and repair).
It is very much a typical small block house of its period, flat roof, terrazzo floors. Rather like the one my own family moved into in ‘53! Having it sketched out like this helped me visualize things, like where Ted would sit at breakfast (a lot goes on in the kitchen area in the books, for some reason), where the aloha shirts would be racked in the shop, how one would access the restrooms.
For Kay’s Korner I actually use the same basic floor plan, assuming it was a stock design for a developer at the time, but the place was heavily remodeled with a second story added at some point. And the old house from the Thirties next to Ted’s place (where the DEA agents hang out for a while) is quite simply based on the place I live right now—didn’t need to draw up a plan for that one!