How to write a novel | places
The story so far in my attempts to write a novella length story, is that our protagonist; Nick, buys a camper van and sets off on an adventure. He travels the English Countryside until he meets Lily, an American from New England and forms a love-hate relationship with her. I don’t really want to go on a road trip through the English Countryside and so I’ll have to use my imagination. I can imagine Nick stopping in a quaint village and watching cricket on the village green. It could look something like my picture!
If you have read my ideas so far, you will know that one idea is for Lily to get stranded in the village when her hire car breaks down and has to spend the night in Nick’s camper van. They’re flung together. She has plans to visit a friend from university and so if Nick takes her there, that will keep them together for a while.
I am inclined to make it a comedy of errors and have Nick and Lily clash over just about everything from what to have to breakfast to which route to take through the English Countryside. Lily would favour the motorways whereas Nick might favour a more direct route down narrow country lanes that would appear quite hazardous to Lily. You can imagine them travelling together listening to the music on the stereo, then coming to an obstruction in the narrow road.
“You’ll never get through there,”Lily warns, staring intently at the gap between the hedgerow and the tractor.
“You could get a bus through there!”, Nick retorts, eyeing the gap and trying to make the fine judgement needed to squeeze the van through the gap.
“You’ll scratch all the paintwork…” Lily, smiles knowing he will go ahead anyway.
Nick pulls forward brushing the hedgerow as he squeezes the camper through the gap between, hedgerow and tractor.
“Easy peezy…” Nick grins.
“Now do it with your eyes open” Lily smiles as they pull away and continue down the narrow lane.
I think I will have to work hard on the dialogue between them. You get the idea though. I really need funny lines at the beginning of chapters and paragraphs. When people find something funny, the following lines only have to be slightly amusing for them to keep smiling after that. People also like to read to the end of a chapter before putting the book down and so we have to try to make sure they pick it up again the next day, by teasing them. We have to try to end every chapter on a funny note, a moment of suspense or a cliff hanger.
Now I need your help. I need dialogue for Lily. Inspire me! Give me one line that Lily might say to Nick. If you are American, this should be easy. Try to make it funny or at least typically American. She could say stuff like “duh” which we don’t say in England and which Nick would probably imitate in a sarcastic or facetious way. I’m not quite sure how to write “huh… huh” but she would probably say that too. Can you think of any more? Gotten would drive Nick nuts too. I think probably the extremely annoying “whatever” is American too. These words and phrases could inspire some humour. There are others. I’m never quite sure what Americans mean when they say they want a soda, but I suspect it’s something like Coke. The drink, not the drug… “You can’t even buy cannabis around here…”
Please comment and make some suggestions for Lily’s dialogue. It would also help if you shared with your friends. There is another blog today about writing fiction on a Zillion Ideas that you might want to check out too.
- How to write a novel | relationships (mike10613.wordpress.com)
- How to write a novel | The story so far (mike10613.wordpress.com)
- How to write a novel | English Countryside (mike10613.wordpress.com)
- How to write a novel | transatlantic ideas (mike10613.wordpress.com)
- This week – the sun came out (mike10613.wordpress.com)
- How to write a novel | Character profile (mike10613.wordpress.com)
- How to write a novel | The storyline (mike10613.wordpress.com)
- How to write a novel | details and authenticity (mike10613.wordpress.com)
- Why England looks like England (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)