How to write a novel | the ante climax
If you are following my series of articles on how to write a novel, you’ll know my story is about Nick and Lily. They have formed a sort of love-hate relationship. This isn’t a thriller, we don’t want car chases or murders in the story, but we want a little excitement and a few twists and turns
The high points of a novel and the ante climax and the climax. I have decided on the climax that will force Nick and Lily together finally. But can we have something before that to keep readers fascinated by what might happen next?
Our antagonist is Terrance Knight, the climax of the story comes when he goes too far in his attempts to woo Lily away from Nick. Nick works as the assistant gardener for Terrance Knight, perhaps that could give us a ante climax. We need something major to happen and I am thinking that Terrance could find fault with everything Nick does and then in a fit of piqué, dismiss Nick and send him on his way. This would infuriate Lily who might follow him. In this modern age of instant and mobile communication she might just call his cell phone…
We can try to convey to the reader the various emotions. Terrance would feel jealousy, Nick would feel that he had been treated unfairly, but be resigned to it. Lily would perhaps pretend not to be heart-broken, but would be furious that Terrance has sacked Nick and want to run after him. We should not forget Lily’s friend Victoria who is also attracted to Nick and would be sorry that he was gone. We have all the ingredients for an ante climax, that should lead up to an even more exciting climax to the story.
“Nick’s camper van has gone.” Lily commented as they were about to sit down to dinner.
“Haven’t you heard?” Vicky said it, as if making an announcement, “Terrance sacked him, he’s gone! I’m going to miss his hunky body around the place…”
“I’ll miss him, he made my work much easier. He did all the heavy work,” Matt grumbled, knowing no one really cared.
“What? Nick has gone?” Lily paused, fighting back the tears and trying to stay calm and composed, “Where to?”
“Sit down dear and eat your dinner, there is nothing you can do now.” Margaret said, sounding like the voice of reason.
Lily began to eat, but was obviously not interested in the meal. She couldn’t decide whether to go to the big house and have it out with Terrance once and for all or to try to call Nick.
It is easy to include information that isn’t really part of the story. What did they eat for dinner? Who cares? The story is about Nick and Lily and their relationship and the way it’s complicated by other relationships and people. We have different scenes and it’s important to describe the scene, but much of that information is incidental and should be mentioned in passing.
What do you think? Is the story interesting enough without a car chase? It does need a little more humour and we have to remember humour as well as heart-break is a part of life. We have to try to take advantage of all the emotions that people feel and contrast the positive ones against the negative ones.
Please comment if you have any ideas. Meanwhile there are more blogs on the home page.