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Writing Books/First novel and I need some help


Dave wrote at 2013-06-30 01:33:07
If I were writing this situation and sticking to the protagonist's point of view I would focus on the wife. Married couples pick up on their partner's non-verbal cues all the time; the price you pay for 20 years of marriage I'm sure. So with that knowledge at hand, how would we start?

I'd start with the protagonist witnessing the phone call. He could walk in to the house after his wife is already on the phone.(I think that it's more important he not be there for the phone call and then happens upon it. It's likely the caller would ask for the protagonist first then tell the wife what has happened should he not be there.) She is visibly upset, describe her non-verbal cues that the protagonist sees and by this point he knows something is up. She would then lie about who is on the phone making him more suspicious and spend her time clearly in distress. Maybe she breaks down a couple times and tries to tell him something then stops. You could have a lot of fun writing the whole scene because until she tells him the truth or he finds out on his own, the reader doesn't have to know what happened. Then you can have the protagonist's wild imagination going 100 mph; is it an affair?! Is she pregnant?! During her confession, or his confrontation, you can have her spill her guts. This way all her inner-turmoil is told and her previous actions make sense.

Hopefully this will help you a bit in the future. I hope you haven't given up on the first person perspective. I have had the exact same problem and while it is daunting at first just keep the focus of the narrator on the issue you want him to see. Also keep in mind, readers are very meta at times. If you do a good job in describing her non-verbal cues, it's easy for the reader to understand there is some sort of inner turmoil going on without being directly shown. Life, lies, and little mysteries.

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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