Neighbors will be happy to give you the scoop on the local schools or where to get the best produce, or who the best barber is. A small town an easy setting for readers to picture and understand. But if you want to twist it and show how cliquey, insular, and suspicious of change these towns can be, you can take your reader in a different direction.
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For murder mystery writers, small towns make for personal motives and a limited number of suspects. The small town itself might be a little isolated with the nearest town some distance away. This can add an extra dose of tension to your book. If there's a killer knocking out characters in this small community one by one, it can really heighten the urgency of solving the case.
The Death and Life of an American Small Town
The odd juxtaposition of a bucolic setting and a violent death can invoke an urge to get everything back to normal and set things right. Whether the setting is a village in England or a small town in the American South, the reader feels the urge to solve the mystery and return the community to its former idyllic status. Do you enjoy reading or writing small town settings? I also favor small town settings in my fiction writing—no surprise, considering I grew up in the country. Candice—I think the only way to make suburbia interesting is to have something really unexpected happen there.
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Introduce some startling element. Small towns are fun. I love small towns in books that I read. I feel like everything is that much more personal and it makes for a very emotionally invested read, which I love. Carol—Oh, but San Antonio is a fun place. There are definitely some larger towns that have really cool identities associated with them—like Memphis.
30 Memes That Summarize What Living In A Small Town Is Like
What a great post! I really like the intimate feel of the small town setting. I too often write about small towns, and although they have certain features that are all their own, in many ways they are similar to suburbs I live in one too! The suburb where I live has a village hall and lots of local committees etc, and some people have lived all their lives in the same street. I agree with you, Elizabeth, that a small town setting in a mystery novel gives plenty of opportunities for people to get angry with each other, which can sometimes lead to murder!
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When I was twelve, my family moved from a metropolitan area to a small town. What church do you go to? Thanks for a wonderful post. So, you must know Jane Smith? And John Doe? Has John found a new job yet? Bourton on the Water or something. Reading about small towns is almost a mini-vacation for me…especially when life gets hectic and complicated. Those killed off just about everyone, it felt like. There are a couple of ways to minimize it.
One is to draw attention to the crime wave. They offer lot of material! No condos, and few apartments.
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Here families get the opportunity to own their own single family dwelling and they can afford those homes! But where would you work. There are, of course, jobs within the small town communities and many people who are moving back to small towns make their livelihood online so where they live is not a factor.
Some choose small towns within commutable distance of the city where they continue to work. There are lots of options to explore! Small town communities are once again thriving. For many small communities the decline of population and threat of extinction have gone. City folk are quickly recognizing the advantages of small town living. In fact each year millions are heading back to rural communities.
What aren't we saying when we sum up small towns as close-knit and quaint?
When someone becomes ill the entire community quickly jumps in to help the family. When someone dies the community quickly comes to the aid of the grieving family. When someone new moves into town the are quickly greeted with open arms and a big welcome. Community spirit is alive and strong! And no matter how hard you try it simply cannot be duplicated in the city. Too many people coming and going. Too much hustle and bustle. Too many people who are far too busy to get to know the people in their neighborhoods. No time! In the city schools are overcrowded reducing the effectiveness of the education.
Parking in a city may be tough, but parking in a small town is often next-to-impossible. Not only is parking limited in most small towns as it is, if your town happens to have a weekender or tourist population, it might be virtually impossible to find anywhere to park your car, even at the supermarket. Knowing that your exes continue to exist post-breakup is annoying enough. Sometimes, you just want to tell off a rude shopkeeper or honk your horn at someone driving like a fool.
A lack of things for teenagers to do means one seriously annoying problem: kids loitering everywhere. Leave your car in a parking lot for 20 minutes and by the time you get back, there are some teenagers making out on the hood and a bunch of others blowing cotton candy-scented vape smoke in your face.
Small town politics often bear little resemblance to bigger government. And sometimes, that person is still an unqualified idiot. If you still live in the small town you grew up in, you know the distinctly displeasure of running into your teachers everywhere you go.
Buckle up for having to introduce them to your elementary school teacher. If you live in the city, the nearest museum or opera is probably just a hop, skip, and a jump away. If you want to enjoy similar cultural activities when you live in most small towns, prepare to spend a couple of hours in travel time getting to any major attraction.
While there may be many downfalls to living in a small town, it can sometimes feel virtually impossible to leave your humble little hometown behind, too. And if you do decide to depart for greener pastures, check out The Happiest Cities in America. Toggle navigation. Faceboook Twitter Instagram. Pets News Newsletter. Toggle secondary navigation Pets News Newsletter Follow.