The Small Town

So last night I finished writing a book I’ve been tweaking on. The entire plot of this book hinges on the Small Town atmosphere. That sense of home has really been on my mind because I hope the heart of a small town will transfer well to the page for those whose never lived it. Otherwise, it’s gonna look like a bunch of backwoods loons who should better understand the dangers of locking their doors at night. 🙂

I tried making examples and some big point of this, but I just confused myself. See the first sentence about finishing a book. I’m brain fried. I’ll just get right to it.

It’s not the size of the town that makes it the classic “Small Town”. It’s not the region either. The “Small Town” could be in the north, midwest, west, heck overseas somewhere. Doesn’t matter. What matters is the *community* involved. If you don’t have that community, well then, you just have a bunch of people living next door to one another and that’s it.

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15 Responses

  1. I love the small town “feel” in a story. I love getting to know all the town’s characters, seeing what happens to them, the follow-up in later tales.

    Good luck. I’m sure you’ve captured the feel.

    • This is something long I just finished. I’ve been writing short for so long, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to bring the colorful background cast to life! Those extra characters have been fun.

  2. Jenny Crusie made almost the exact same comment on her blog a couple of weeks ago, about how all of her books have a strong community, but not all of them are set in small towns. Community is what you make it, whether you’re surrounded by a million people or a hundred.

  3. I’m a suburban kid, myself, but married a way-out-in-the-country boy, so I’ve gotten to see both sides.

    Small town is an attitude!

    • how fun to see both sides! my dad lives in a big town. When we’d visit, I don’t think I knew anything about any of the neighbors. was very strange feeling!

  4. As someone who grew up in a small town, I couldn’t agree with you more. I live in a community neighborhood. I don’t know them. Everybody new everybody in my hometown. Good luck with your deadlines and your book!

    • I love knowing everybody! there are people up the road I see just a couple times a year, but I could so drop by and they could stop by if they needed anything too!

  5. I’ve lived in a very small town and fairly large ones and I think you’re right. It’s more about the people and attitude than the size of the town. I’m sure you hit the nail on the head. : )

  6. Yes, congrats on finishing it, Keri and good luck! Being from a pretty small town, I always love reading about them. We were lucky enough to pick a great street to live on when we moved just outside Houston. The neighbors are great and it feels like home. 🙂

  7. Well said, Keri, and I’m sure it’s true. The biggest section of my childhood was in a veterans’ housing development where we had that sense of community among the two closest buildings/8 apartments.

    I have to say, though, that I’ve lived lots of places and never saw the “small town atmosphere” described in books—you know, with everyone knowing everyone and gossiping constantly about each other, etc. 🙂 Not even in the tiny villages I lived in!

    • Interesting! it seems to happen in sections. Such as in high school, I would guarentee all the parents knew what was going on with other parents.

      In places I’ve worked, I’ve see that atmosphere, have seen the judgement by the older people of the town. Even in just say my gym, people know everybody and everything about their business.

      In my story, I’ve set up the community AT my hero’s house for various reasons, so hopefully that’ll add to the belief for people who’ve never lived it!

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