Proper Crossword Is Harder Than I Thought

I've been trying to create a new locally-themed crossword puzzle for the Crozet Gazette, but it's not going great. I'm trying to get it as "regulation" as possible, but I'm hitting roadblocks. I'm not sure whether I should 1) try another theme entirely (I'm currently using local restaurants), 2) use obscure words that fit, or 3) have 2-letter words. I think I'm going to try using obscure words first. Hopefully I can think of obvious clues so it won't be so hard.