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How to write a novel | different scenes


Junction 10 M6 Motorway

If you’re following my story about Nick and Lily, you will know that the narrator is telling the story. There are different scenes, when dialogue between the different characters, adds to the story. So far I’ve concentrated on telling the reader about what happens to Nick. I can have scenes that don’t feature Nick, but feature Lily instead.

The antagonist in this story is Terrance Knight, the Lord of the Manor. He is not only tall, dark and handsome, but also rich and lives in the big house. Lily is impressed by him and accepts some of his invitations. It’s quite plausible for Lily to be attracted to the ‘bad boy’ of the story. I can have some scenes then that feature Terrance and Lily, without Nick in them. I think scenes that feature others can be part of the story, but the story is about Nick and Lily. I don’t want trivia in the story, that is not part of the story. The story is a journey, a journey that leads to an event and that event triggers the end of the story. We need to stick to the journey, not take diversions away from it. We can mention what happened last night in the local pub, if it’s relevant to the story;  but not include that scene. Readers tend to skip the boring bits. So why write boring bits?

As Lily was walking back to the gate house she saw Terrance Knight returning from his walk.

“Hello Lily, lovely day. Have you been shopping?” Terrance asked.

“I just took a walk into the village,” Lily replied, shading her eyes from the sun.

“We could go to the pub this evening,” Terrance suggested, moving closer, “It’s been a while since I’ve been in the Barmaid’s Arms.”

“ I’m sure she’s missed you too!” Lily laughed as she said it.

“We  could have a pub meal,” Terrance continued enthusiastically, “The food is all locally produced.”

“I’d love to, I want to try the old speckled hen” Lily moved even closer and took his arm in hers.

“You do know that is a well known ale?” Terrance guided her in the direction of the gatehouse and they walked together like a pair of lovers.

“Yes, I didn’t think it was chicken surprise!” Lily giggled.

“They do that too and it is a surprise, I think they make it with rabbits!”

They stopped as they came to the front door of the gatehouse. Lily turned to face Terrance and looked into his eyes, she was attracted to him, but she pulled back. Something still made her hesitant.

“I’ll stop by around eight then?” Terrance asked, as he turned to walk home.

“I’ll see you then,” Lily smiled, but her expression was hesitant. She had doubts about him. She wasn’t sure why, but thought maybe Nick’s reservations about him could be justified.

That scene allows for a following scene where Terrance and Lily go to the village pub for a meal and a few drinks. This gives me an opportunity to explore their relationship and the conflicts in Lily’s mind about Terrance. She wants Nick, but Terrance is the more obvious choice. He has it all, money, good looks and position in society. Nick is more vulnerable and Lily feels he needs her. Lily also feels she needs him. He is more empathic than Terrance, more emotional and he understands Lily’s feelings.

The story can develop by comparing Terrance and Nick as suitable for Lily. It can explore the jealousy and rivalry between the two of them. Terrance is the selfish one, but he has more to offer Lily. Nick is the one with more to offer emotionally and so appears more attractive to Lily’s emotional side.

To write about people’s emotions we have to look at our own and think how we might feel in their situation. The story creates situations where the characters have an emotional response to the situation and other characters. The characters don’t need to be hurt physically for the story to be quite powerful. The reader with understand and identify with their emotional pain.

I hope you found today’s post helpful, please comment and tell me what you think. There is another blog about writing today on a zillion ideas.

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3 responses

  1. Pingback: The Saturday review | Winter is coming « Mike10613's Blog

  2. Pingback: How to write a novel | antagonism « Mike10613's Blog

  3. Pingback: How to write a novel | Ideas « Mike10613's Blog

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