Writer’s Notebook: Why a Series of Short Reads?

Why a series of short reads?  Well.  Here are my thoughts.  It’s because I can cut to my fave part of stories … the feels … and because the narrative structure demonstrates the feeling, the story of a community.  Let me explain.

One of my guilty pleasures is watching those tv movies that have the same city girl meets country boy and they fall in love plot with the requisite misunderstanding only to have a heartfelt reunion scene filled with all the feels.  I love the feels.  I tear up and cry on cue for these movies.  I mean to the point where my husband will watch me watching the movie and teasingly say, here it comes.  

I know that they are not well-written, well-acted, or well-directed.  They are littered with plot holes and contrivances.  But, I don’t care.  I like being able to escape into a world that is simple.  I like being able to vicariously feel the best parts of falling in love without the inevitable draw-backs of real-life.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my life.  I am married to a great guy.  I look back on our courtship with fondness.  But, quite frankly I like our life better now.  I don’t have any of the uncertainty that I did when we were dating.  Uncertainty lived is not as much fun as uncertainty lived vicariously with fictional people.  You’re guaranteed a happy unending in those feel-good movies, but not so in real-life.  The downs in those movies are the guarantee of the up in those movies.  For every down, every pitfall, there will be an equal or better good-feel.

One thing that I noticed is that if I have seen a movie before when given the luxury of an on-demand movie, I will skip to the scenes that I like the best.  You know.  For a quick pick-me-up.  I also noticed that I like the short stories that my favorite serial authors write, as in between novel stories.  Kind of like their own fanfic.  The stories have the characters I love, but with shorter and less complicated plots than the novels.  I’m not the only one who likes those shorts.  In a short read, you can have a concentrated dose of the feels whether it be with your fave characters from a series that you’re reading or a one-of story.  In a short read, you can just get right to it with those feels.  

This explains the shortness of the short read, but why a series?  As I have been doing “world-building” as they call it, which for this series is creating the town, the town’s history, the denizens of the town, I started thinking about how in a real town, we are all extras in each other’s lives.  And when we hear each other’s stories, it’s like short slice-of-life stories that we tell and are told about us.  If you look at a town’s life, each person is like a puzzle piece in a larger story.  Each person’s life is a tile in a larger mosaic, if you will.  That thought intrigued me.  

The became the birth of the Sweetwater Inn Stories.  A series of short reads that take place in a fictional town called Sweetwater.  But, the birth of the Sweetwater Inn is another story entirely.  Stay tuned.    

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