Small Towns, Big Stories

Setting is so important. The perfect setting can frame and showcase your characters’ strengths and weaknesses. Your setting can add deep layers and meaning to the developing romance, heighten the sense of mystery and danger or accentuate heartwarming and heart-wrenching family dynamics. For me, nothing helps me achieve my writing goals like a small-town setting.

I’m fascinated by small-town dynamics…probably because I spent more than fifteen years as a community newspaper reporter and editor.

I love the dichotomy of citizens’ public and private personas and how those differences fuel the gossip and “scandal” in communities,  influence both personal and public decisions and, most importantly, impact personal relationships. These conflicts make for great tension in your writing, especially when they involve a hot hero and strong, sassy heroine.

There are three main reasons I enjoy writing, and reading, romances with small-town settings.

The small-town setting lends itself to certain tropes and themes I enjoy. Forced proximity, conflict of interest, leaving home, returning home, reunion romances, bad boy/good girl, etc. The list is endless.

The sense of community. Friends, family, personal history, gossip…I love all the characteristics (good and bad) of small towns and communities.

Creative freedom. I create fictional towns, which means I’m not bogged down with a lot of research. I have complete control over my own little corner of the world. (The control freak in me loves this.)

So do you live in a small town? Enjoy reading or writing romances with small-town settings? I’d be interested in hearing your impressions and experiences.

Thanks so much for visiting with us today. Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered into our August giveaway. The blog swag this month is a FREE digital copy of the winner’s choice from the new Decadent Tease Imprint courtesy of Clarissa Yip.

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About Tina Vaughn

Tina Vaughn is an award-winning journalist and contemporary romance author who's always dreamed of being a writer. Her writing career began in elementary school when she wrote her friends' love letters to their boyfriends in exchange for Mickey Mouse ice cream bars. After spending nearly fifteen years as a journalist and newspaper editor, Tina remembered she preferred fiction to fact and began writing what she loves most...steamy contemporary romance. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband and daughter, and is known for commemorating milestones with silver jewelry, tattoos and/or ice cream.

4 Responses to Small Towns, Big Stories

  1. I grew up in a small town, and I completely agree. There is something special about the dynamics of a small town. I love small-town settings in fiction.

  2. Sutton Fox says:

    I grew up and have lived in large cities all of my life, until the last couple years when I chose to move to a small town. Small town dynamics can be a pain, but mostly I love living here because the people (a good portion of them anyway, lol.) are so nice. I never really understood what it meant to have roots until I moved here. Getting over the culture shock took a while. Sometimes I still get blindsided by it.

    And when I want a warm, cozy read there’s nothing better than small town romance. 🙂

  3. Nina Croft says:

    I love reading small town romances set in America. I think big cities don’t always give a feel of where you are – they can be so cosmopolitan – but small towns are just completely different than anything I’ve known in real life.

  4. Bethanne says:

    Love small towns, too. 🙂
    loved living in them. love writing them.

    Favorite song. Miranda Lambert, Famous in a Small Town. 😀

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