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Posts tagged “story

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… (more…)


How to write a novel | Research

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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…)


How to write a novel | details and authenticity

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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…)


How to write a novel | The storyline

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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…)


How to write a novel | People and Places

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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…)


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