How not write a novel part 2

24, January,2007

A word about characters, in particular the love interest.

First, write a big chunk of your novel – the usual business – a flawed but likable (male) character and his friend go off on an unlikely quest. I included the friend’s brown dog for a bit of variation.

About 50,000 words into the manuscript stop and take a critical look at the book you’re currently reading, then have a quick look at another couple of books.

Exclaim, “bugger me, they all have a love interest in them, I’m really snookered now,” (or words to that effect).

Realise you have no idea what to do.

Watch some US television for ideas.

  • They have to not get along at first
  • Trap them together in a close space that forces their faces almost together. Have them lock eyes, but pull away due to an untimely rescue.
  • Have them smoulder for a few weeks.
  • Smoulder some more.
  • A bit more.
  • Create a misunderstanding that involves an attractive secondary character.
  • They don’t get along again – the cycle repeats.

At this point fall asleep or gouge your eyes out.

OK, you’re ready to write in your female character. You can be a bit indiscriminate. Drop her into the gaps in the plot. Have her make the odd comment so the readers won’t forget she’s there.

“Mm, not much personality.”

Go back to your library. Based on your reading you realise you have two choices. The elegant helpless female who needs to be rescued at the critical moment, or the gutsy, closet warrior, who needs rescuing at the critical moment.

Sit back and smugly reflect on your efforts.

Consider what your wife would say if she ever saw the crap you just wrote, and start again.

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One Response to “How not write a novel part 2”

  1. Phil Rossi Says:

    …that list….

    Must be Grey’s Anatomy 😉


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