Chapter 3
Colored lights, music and laughter emanated from the small Cape Cod. Though it was only 7:30, dusk had cast dark shadows on the yews and rose bush near the front door. The asphalt covering the dingy grey driveway and the rusting Impala sitting there added some gloom. By most standards it was the typical neighborhood ‘dream house’.

Jenny opened the front door and greeted Cass and Pete Robertson and their two girls.  The fact that they usually used the back door, as next door neighbors, attested to the festivity of the party. .Jenny also added to the party atmosphere by having her dark hair in a fashionable upsweep and wearing more makeup than usual. The excitement of the occasion had put more color into her cheeks and was further emphasized by her shimmering green caftan.

She kissed and hugged ten year old Beth and swung Lisa in her arms and whispered something in her ear, delighted to hear her childish giggle. “Aunt Carol brought her portable t  v so you kids can watch in the kitchen where all the snacks are going to be.”  She explained to Cass and Pete, ”I’m not expecting any problems with our t v, but it’s nice to have a backup.  Who knows, we could be watching with the kids. Cass, you look great. New dress?”

“Naw, just some old rag I had hanging around.” Her bubbling hearty laugh overpowered the conversation in the living room. She looked around, “Where’s Trish?”

“She’s catching the show with some friends,” Jenny wrinkled her nose and made no further comment.

“She’ll be sorry,” Cass boasted, “I made my crab puffs,” she handed Jenny a Pyrex dish covered in foil, lifting a corner and passing it near Jenny’s nose.

“Thank you, thank you,” Jenny bowed. “Wait till you taste the cocktails.” She wiggled and the green caftan shimmered.

“You two make me a little crazy,” Pete laughed and shook his head. He stood uncertainly at the doorway, never seeming to fit in.

“The guys are having a beer in the dining room till the show starts, and then we’ll just fall all over each other in here.” Jenny pointed to where Jim was handing out drinks.

Pete skirted the women and joined the men in the semi darkness. He made no attempt to interrupt the conversation in progress. He picked up a beer can off the table, studied the label and sat in the corner by a small hutch, and tried to get interested in the moment. Pete was not a talker, or a good mixer, He came to these gatherings at Cass’s insistence. It was obvious to the other men that he considered himself a mental superior to most of them. If he didn’t exceed them in looks or in the muscle department, he was taller and relatively sure of his intelligence. Though Pete didn’t fit in well into their lives, he did share an irrefutable lifestyle, since the houses were similar, and the layouts were basically the same: kitchen in the same back corner, two upstairs bedrooms with dormer windows looking out to the placid street where the community children rode bikes, or kicked their sponge footballs. The houses were easily vacated if the family income improved, or the company transfer uprooted them. It was suburbia, easy to enter and not easy to leave.


Writing A Novel

Writing a novel is a challenge. Good research makes the story interesting,

If you have really decided to write a novel you should definitely make a time to write in your busy schedule. Set an hour or two a week, or more if possible, and try to stick to it.

If you have a full time job and you really want to devote some time and energy to a novel you must give yourself something to live by.  Maybe you can get up a little earlier in the morning or arrange a block to time for yourself on weekends,  or give up a few hours of tv viewing. I can hear the moans already, but you owe it to yourself. After about 2 or three weeks, it will become a habit and your family will know you mean business and will stop pestering you. It’s so very important to organize your time if you really want it to happen.

The first step on writing a novel is that you must be focused. Once you make the start you have to keep the momentum going. You need determination. Ask yourself why are you writing, what do I want to show? The most important thing in your story is the main character, or the protagonist, and your story must come across to the reader as true. Don’t try to impress the reader with your vocabulary. Simple, straightforward approach and words are best. It has been said that most readers read at the 6th grade level. Believe it. Don’t write for the academic world unless it is a textbook.

The average length for a light romance novel is around 65,000 words. For a young adult novel it should be about 35,00o words and for a more serious novel, 95,000 words or more.

Good points to remember as you embark on you writing career is

  1. A good verb doesn’t need an adverb
  2. Exceptional writing is the use of one good word which will make it unnecessary to use many.
  3. Genre…there’s that word again, It’s the type of novel you will be writing.

Mainstream…written for this time period, histoical, science fiction, Romance, may be mainstream or historical, mystery or crime.

There are many others, detective, erotica, western, medical,, action, adventure, etc.

In any of the above, it is important to set the stage, so there is no misconception of what type and period the story is going to be about .

Your characters must think and act in the period they were written for. Your early description should set the stage for the time period.

As you write you will find that you need much more information than you use. For instance: If you are mentioning an old pocket watch you will need to research how they opened, do they have portraits, or engraving, etc.

On the opening page of your novel you should establish the time period, introduce the protagonist and establish the mood. Don’t introduce other characters until you have something to say about them. Decide on a genre. Take note on anything that has become of importance for you to write about. Start thinking about your protagonist and how he or she will fit into the story. One of the single most important thing your novel is person. As for title, unless you have already decided on what that will be, you will often find it on the way, by a repetition or outstanding feature.