In 1978, Philip K Dick published an essay called "How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later." The title sort of says it all; it's about how to envision the world of a story in a way that lasts. He cuts right to chase, too, confronting the hard question that most writing how-to's like to gloss over: What is worth writing about? Where to start? How to make a statement that doesn't age badly?
… I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing. It is my job to create universes, as the basis of one novel after another. And I have to build them in such a way that they do not fall apart two days later. Or at least that is what my editors hope. However, I will reveal a secret to you: I like to build universes which do fall apart. I like to see them come unglued, and I like to see how the characters in the novels cope with this problem. I have a secret love of chaos. There should be more of it.
It just gets better from there, really.