Well, (you'll find I like to introduce lots of things with this word) I suppose this is another "Apology to Caryn." None of my literary friends have appreciated my little tale of "Characters in a Small Town." They have all asked me the same darn question: "What is your point? Are you just listing a bunch of characters without any plot? Where is your research? You must take this work and do something with it, maybe do some research about small towns in the United States and then make some point."
I've thought about that - for about ten seconds. Then, I have asked myself, and them too if they would have waited long enough to question, why does this work have to be literary? Is there a good reason why something can't be written without any plot in mind? And, what is wrong with listing a group of real characters from my small town and narrating some of their foibles? Does it have to be intellectual?
No, it doesn't. Actually, it would be quite ruined if I did "research" and turned this non-story into something much more cerebrally challenging. I haven't chosen this method because I don't appreciate more lofty literature. I'm fairly well-educated and I've read and still reread Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, along with all of those other great literary chaps.
By golly, I can boast that I've read War and Peace three times. My library is considered very eclectic so I stick out my tongue to those who would never be able to, for instance, enjoy Janet Evanovich's character Stephanie Plum because it is simple slap-stick humor. That defines "Characters in a Small Town." None of these people have been developed from my imagination. The only imagination provided has been in how I've chosen to tell you about them, the order in which I present them and what, specifically, I think their most hilarious qualities were.
Oh My God! I've just had an incredible epiphany! Maybe these people from my small town were so incredible that those who critiqued this tale thought they WERE made up characters! Well! That would explain why they think there should be plot! If they believed this was a list of fictional characters with fictitious character traits, no wonder they scorned this work of mine and considered it half-donkeyed. I assure you, my readers, I shared my growing up years with these individuals - and individuals they were. I hope you read it more kindly.