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How to write a novel | Emotions


Junction 10 M6 Motorway

If you read last week’s post then you will know that my protagonist, Nick has met Lily and they are forming a love-hate relationship. They decided to stop at Nick’s home in Birmingham on the way to see Lily’s university friend, Vicky. People are interested in people, what they do and how they feel. Writing a novel is about people’s emotions. This one is meant to be humorous, but doesn’t need to be a laugh a minute. The drive along the motorway would give a lot of opportunities for humorous dialogue.

When they reach Nick’s house, they could find themselves thrown together even more. Nick would have to make his guest welcome, but wants to get on and travel to Shropshire to get Lily to her friend. There is a dissonance, a conflict between what he thinks he should do and what he wants to do deep down; Lily shares that feeling. She feels quite insulted by Nick’s hostility towards her, but at the same time attracted to him. Such dissonance lends itself to humour as both people struggle to come to terms with these conflicts. They are not sure what to feel for each other, they are drawn towards each other, but at the same time Nick is repulsed by Lily because she is American. Lily is attracted to Nick, but offended by his jibes and overly polite manners.

Nick would be more relaxed at his home and I think Lily would try to make herself at home. Would they continue their journey that day or would Nick invite Lily to stay the night? I think an overnight stay would be a lot more interesting.

“I think, I’ll tidy the garden a little,” Nick said, looking out of the window.

“Good idea, but it will make us late arriving at Vicky’s. Unless we stay here tonight,” Lily smiled and moved closer, feeling she had scored a small victory.

“I suppose, I could make up the spare room and then we could set out first thing in the morning.” Nick replied, eyeing the garden again.

“That’s settled then, show me the spare room. I’ll make it up.”

“It’s only four o’clock, no need to make it up yet,” Nick said with a worried look.

“It’s alright, I wasn’t planning on changing into my jimjams just yet. Not unless you really want me to!” Lily teased.

The idea of Lily being a little forward and Nick embarrassed and finding it difficult to respond to her flirting could provide some humour.

Every little incident could be turned into a moment of humour. Out in the garden, Lily would be sure to join Nick rather than stay alone in the house

“I’ll cut these roses, they will only die if they’re left. Do you want to do something with them, place them in a vase or something?” Nick said handing the roses to Lily.

“Oh, Nick how romantic, a dozen roses. This is the first time you have given me flowers, I will treasure the memory forever!” Lily responds as she sweeps the flowers away and heads for the house.

“Wait until we get to the compost,” Nick calls after her, with a wry smile.

It’s useful to have a notebook for writing the amusing lines of dialogue. You really have to imagine the scene and get into the minds of your characters. Last night I was helping a writer, write a murder scene; quite different emotions. In this scene we have a dissonance between love and hate; almost. Their hostility towards one another is humorous and helps protect them from rejection. Both are unsure of each others feelings and unsure of their own feelings. This is a good recipe for humour. Just as the reader gets used to the sparks flying between Nick and Lily, with moments of tenderness when their true feelings for each other show; we can spice it up a little.

How will Lily react to her friend Vicky flirting with Nick? If there is an obvious attraction between Nick and Vicky will Lily become jealous? Will her jealously make her even more hostile towards Nick and will Vicky take advantage of that? Looking for the answers to these questions will make for a ante-climax to the story perhaps?

There are more amazing blogs on the home page. Not many people read last weeks episode and no one commented; so please comment this week.

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11 responses

  1. Mike, I’ve been busy, too much to do, no time to read. This was fun, though. Hope you are well

    5, September 2012 at 11:34 am

    • Hi Myfanwy,

      I’m not too bad, had an upset tummy so went out and bought lots of fresh veg! We have sunshine here, wonder how long it will last! I’m glad someone is reading today’s blog, I had no readers hardly last week! :)

      5, September 2012 at 3:58 pm

      • Probably people were working hard between the olympics! I didn’t watch any of it.

        5, September 2012 at 4:09 pm

  2. No nor me! 12 billions spent for people to run around in shorts. That would have paid for improvements to a lot of things.

    5, September 2012 at 6:07 pm

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