I love small towns.
Stories about family and close friends and getting to know all the little idiosyncrasies that usually come with
warm my heart and pour onto the pages of my novels.
|Where we pass through a small town on our bike route.|
I love exploring surrounding small towns to seek out their story. The wooded paths surrounding them help me to envision magic underlying the ordinary world.
I have trouble remembering road signs because I give, and often get, directions based on current, and past, landmarks. The quiet on a summer night, devoid of the sounds of a big city, and filled with the sounds of crickets waking for the evening wash the stress of the day away.
Sure, I’ve vacationed out of state, and out of the country, but I always love coming home. When I visited New York City the lack of space, and trees, and the multitude of people, made me appreciate small towns even more.
Now that you know my backstory, you know that when I say, “I’ve lived in the same state all my life,” that I say it with warmth and a touch of pride. But when my daughter said this same sentence as rationale for wanting to choose a college out of state, or at least not close enough to home to bring a mother comfort, her tone differed slightly from mine, despite having the same backstory as me.
Know Your Characters
When characters are well developed, as a reader, you can “hear” their voice in your head when you read. At least I can. Otherwise one sentence would always be interpreted in the same manner. When in reality, each individual person can make the same statement and have an entirely different meaning.
Additional layers, such as descriptions of the character’s mannerism, expression, or tone can help convey the true meaning behind each sentence. A few other examples of different interpretations of the same sentence:
-“School’s closed tomorrow.”— Tone of working parent vs. tone of child.
"Did you get a new dress?” – Tone of friend vs. tone of husband while paying the bills.
“Is there peanut butter in this?”—Tone of peanut butter lover vs. Someone allergic to nuts
We Write Our Own Story
I can certainly understand the desire to see the world, and take pride that my girls believe the world is theirs for the taking (did I mention that they’re twins?). But I must admit part of me wanted them to feel the same love for familiarity and small towns like I do. That might come in time.
Although, if everyone had the same desires, the same story, it might reduce our ability to live vicariously through characters in their stories.
When You Read, Do You “Hear” Your Characters Tone of Voice?
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Visit small-town Pennsylvania in my novella, Forget Me Not
To prove she’s foreseen their destiny, Sabrina stirs Cole’s interest
by revealing specifics about him she couldn’t have otherwise known.
Unfortunately, the one detail he vividly remembers is the pain when she left him and their "rinky-dink" town in her rearview mirror.
Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While