If you’re following my blogs about writing a novel, you will know that the story I’m writing is about Nick and Lily. Nick’s parents were killed in a car accident while on holiday in America. He took to the road in a campervan and met Lily, a brash American. They are opposites but attracted to one another and so have a love-hate relationship.
Last week in my how to write a novel series, I looked at the emotions of my characters. This week I want to develop a new character. You might remember that Nick and Lily have formed a love-hate relationship and are on the road in a camper van; having stopped off at Nick’s house where they spent the night together. I shall be going back to that and developing that part of the story. Now they are on their way to meet Victoria, Lily’s friend from university.
If you are following this series of blog about writing fiction. You will know the story so far. Nick’s parents were killed in America and he now hates all things American. He is going to sell everything and travel around the English countryside, until me meets an American woman and forms a love-hate relationship with her. I think that gives us a basis for a romantic adventure with lots of twists and turns. I still need a name for the woman and I need a starting point for this journey. (more…)
You can make it all up when you’re writing fiction, but it makes it more plausible if you do some research. I tried to research this lake in the picture, to try to find the history of it this morning. Times change though and records get lost, so making research more difficult. You can however look at research from a different angle and that was what I did researching this lake which was enlarged in the 1980’s to prevent the river from flooding. I researched the river instead and that turned up more information. Incidentally, it’s Forge Mill Lake in Sandwell Valley, in case local readers don’t recognise it. The river that passes alongside it is the River Tame. (more…)
When you are writing fiction it’s a good idea to make it plausible by including a few details that might otherwise go unnoticed. Last week I introduced you to my character Nick who I said could be someone who dreams of becoming a gypsy and travelling. I thought maybe he could tour England in a camper van and that would give us a nice scenario for an adventure, a thriller or even a romance. If I wanted something really unusual, he could do the tour on a canal boat and experience England’s 17th century canals. Take a look at the picture and think what little details might make the story sound more authentic. There are fancy little benches along the canal on this stretch and notice the black and white mooring points too. A lot of narrowboats chose this place to spend the night a couple of weeks ago. (more…)
When you start to write fiction, whether it’s a short story, novella or a full length novel; you need some idea of what you’re going to write before you start. I find taking a notebook and writing a few notes helps and you also need to think about it a lot. You need a beginning, a middle and an end. You need a climax for the story and maybe an ante climax. First however, you need a protagonist, your main character and a place to start. I think I’ll call my protagonist Nick; it took me a while to think of that name. We often choose names we are familiar with, but they aren’t always suitable. We don’t really want our friends asking if we named our psychopath after them… (more…)
Before you start writing a novel, you need to plan a little. Who will be your narrator? It can be anyone. The narrator can be omnipotent, all knowing and even know what your characters are thinking. You have to be careful with your narrator, a neutral narrator who describes what is happening is one option. Your narrator could be a ghost, a neighbour, a pirate who says, ‘Ar’ a lot… Your narrator can be anyone. I thought about this when I was planning a story and considered having the narrator as a neighbour of the protagonist who observes him. It would be different… (more…)
As a writer you have to try to develop a style, preferably one that is interesting to read and easy to read. If you use lots of words that the reader is unfamiliar with, that will frustrate them. If you fill whole pages with lengthy descriptions of rooms and places rather than people, it will be boring. Writers’ complain of writers’ block, not knowing what to write next. This is often because the story is boring; if it’s absolutely riveting you tend to write like someone possessed, wanting to get to the end. (more…)
I think a photograph can inspire us to write about a place, but you need people in that place. In this photo is the ruins of a priory, would that inspire you to write? In the novel I wrote in 2009 I had the main character travel from England where he complained constantly about the weather to a Mediterranean island where he hoped to enjoy beer, babes and sand. The contrast between the two places made it more interesting. We go through life going through a chain of events and we constantly make comparisons; so it can be useful to make comparisons between extremes in a story. (more…)