A book, according to John Steinbeck, is a "wedge driven into a man's personal life." Shorter works, according to Steinbeck, were simpler to squeeze out.
A large book, maybe his own East of Eden, persists. It's here to stay. Steinbeck thinks that the best stories are the ones that stick with you like a wedge.
Yellowstone National Park is rather extensive. The seven-generation Dutton family story in Yellowstone covers five seasons and two spinoffs.
Other reasons to relate the Sheridan-verse to Steinbeck include legacy, generational struggle, morality on the verge of urban development, and people being awful and vicious. Family values are important.
Writing about everyone would be much more difficult with so many Johns and Jacks. An illustration: