So I was reading on another blog how the writer was sick of reading about small towns in novels. Well, I happen to be writing a novel that has to do with a small town. And I'm reading one right now (by Jennifer Crusie) that involves a small town.
So here's why I think there's a love/hate situation with small towns, and it's summed up (both the love it AND the hate it part), in three simple words:
Everyone knows everyone.
You love it, because it's familiar, it's how it has always been and how it always will be. And you hate it for those very same reasons.
BUT, one of the things I personally love about small towns are the odd little people that live there. Now, don't get me wrong - odd little people live in big cities, too. But in small towns, you see more of them, you KNOW more about them. So how fun is it to read about a quirkly little gay old dude in the big city? It's not. There's a million of them. But toss in an aging gay man in the middle of a small town, and heck, there's a story right THERE. Not only would he be way more noticed, but he's got that insta-conflict with small town "values" and traditions and all that jazz. (I'm not writing about that, although Stephen King did once - and I remember it because of that very fact.)
So although this one other blog's writer mentioned hating reading about small towns, I think we're kind of drawn to those types of stories anyway, where everyone has their little secrets, which is kinda funny, since everyone else already KNOWS those secrets. And the secrets of the daddy, and the granddaddy, and let's not downplay what great-granddaddy did back in 1910. Infamy isn't always a bad thing, especially when it's happening to someone else.