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How to write a novel | Colloquialisms

English Countryside

For weeks now I’ve been developing my story about Nick, who has lost his parents in a car accident in California. He decided to sell up and go on a road trip around the English Countryside. I’m getting a little inspiration from the photographs that I took on Sunday. This is as close to the English Countryside that I get!

Nick drives from his home in Birmingham to Warwickshire where I parks his camper van on the car park of a village pub and it’s there that he meets Lily. Lily is American and a love-hate relationship develops.

Now I need to decide what happens before he meets Lily. I have worked out some background for him. He worked for the council parks department and went to agricultural college. I like the idea of Nick going to agricultural college, but also being from the city. It gives him respect for and love of nature and the countryside. He could get a little work in the village. He is an experienced gardener. Maybe, the vicar needs someone to mow his lawn and tidy up his garden? Even the pub where his camper van is parked up might offer work? Lots of pubs have a garden where people sit outside and enjoy their drinks and food.

That would be something of an introduction for the reader not only to the story, but also to our protagonist. Then of course, he meets Lily, our feisty American whose hire car has broken down. This is where the humour would begin. He takes her in and shares his camper van and then drives her to Shropshire to find her university friend,  Victoria.

“I have made tea, “ Nick announced, as Lily tried not to look embarrassed in her pyjamas.

“I need my morning coffee fix, “ Lily replied, unenthusiastically.

“Did you sleep well?” Nick asked…

“Not really, I feel like I’ve had an all-nighter,” Lily complained.

“I’m cooking breakfast, would you like some?“

Oh, no thanks I’ve been warned about the traditional English breakfast,”

“Actually, I meant eggs and toast,” Nick said holding up an egg to demonstrate what he meant.

“Oh, cool; that would be good,”

I think I need to work on that dialogue, but the American colloquialisms add to Lily’s character. The contrast between Nick’s liking for morning tea also contrasts to Lily’s need for a coffee ‘fix’.

They would both need to get dressed and so that could cause confusion and some embarrassment. The camper van would have a partition for privacy, but closing that all night would make it very confined and hot in summer.

Often with dialogue, especially when it’s meant to be humorous, you have to read it several times and keep editing until it sounds like something your character would say. It has to be plausible or the reader will think something isn’t quite right.

When you write anything, you start with an introduction, then the main body and finally a conclusion. I have decided the conclusion in this case will be for Nick to go with Lily to America. I plan on a happy ever after ending, unless I think of something better!

Do you have any suggestions for dialogue? Twists in the story? Please comment and share your ideas!

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8 responses

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