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How to write a novel | The story so far


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If you have read the previous blogs in this series on how to write a novel you will know that I have some ideas for a novella. The story so far is about Nick, who is an only child and has lost his parents in a terrible accident while they were on holiday in America. He now hates all things American and has decided to get away from it all and travel around England in his camper van. Is he looking for something or running away from something? Maybe both? He does odd jobs on his travels using his skills as a gardener and handyman. He then meets a girl and forms a love-hate relationship with her. She is American! What is her name? I have one suggestion so far; Mauve. Well, I suppose it colourful…

I thought about making Nick quite funny, so he can cope with his feelings about Americans. Despite the fact he likes this girl, he could make fun of her. There are lots of American clichés that he might use like ‘have  a nice day’. I think his dislike of all things American could be quite funny. How would he react to her suggestion that they eat at McDonald’s for example? He might react with a facetious comment like, “Is that the place that made  a million burgers out of one cow and a million fries from one potato?” A sentence like that can make a whole chapter funny, but it needs work; I would probably re-write that a dozen times, until I was happy with it. You get the idea though.

We need an ante climax. Do you have any ideas. The ante-climax builds up to a climax. Maybe, something could happen to the young woman to make Nick realise that his feelings are more love than hate? He could save her from a fate worse than death or something as a climax. What could that be?

Stories usually have a happy ending, but should Nick get the girl in the end? Is that enough or should there be more to the ending? What do you think? Any ideas?

This young woman comes into Nick’s life and is made to feel unwelcome. What would Nick feel if he faced losing her now? What if he had to travel to America to chase after her; the country he hates so much and associates with his parents’ death? I haven’t even decided how his parents died yet, an accident, but what kind of accident? I definitely need a name for this girl, preferably something typically American that Nick can make fun of. How about Destinee? She could be Texan and say y’all a lot… I am inclined to think she comes from New England though.  Is there a popular name in New England? It seems from my research that a name can give away social class just as in England and so I need to be careful not to choose a ‘preppy’ name; whatever that is…  I like Lily and it does seem to be middle class. What do you think? Lily, the American; who looks like an English rose…

Names are important, they get shortened. Mauve would get shortened to Mo and Lily would get shortened to Lil. They conjure up an image too, don’t they? Lily sounds so Victorian.

What do you think? What name should I use? Any ideas for ante-climax and climax and what about the most important thing; the ending? Please comment with your ideas! This could be interactive fiction!

I also wrote about writing on a Zillion Ideas today, pop over and read that too. You might be inspired!

7 responses

  1. Pingback: How to write a novel | English Countryside « Mike10613's Blog

  2. Pingback: How to write a novel | transatlantic ideas « Mike10613's Blog

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  4. Pingback: How to write a novel |Making a start « Mike10613's Blog

  5. Pingback: How to write a novel | character development « Mike10613's Blog

  6. Pingback: How to write a novel | Colloquialisms « Mike10613's Blog

  7. Pingback: How to write a novel| the ante climax « Mike10613's Blog

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