Tales From Under The Rainbow (Part 1) #AmWriting

Tales from under the rainbow

Danny Johnson turned a corner, but it wasn’t any ordinary corner. No, this was a corner on the path of his life.

Life had given Danny many exciting and memorable moments, but it hadn’t finished with him yet. It had many more situations planned for him, and the journey he was on was about to get even exceptional.

On the last day of his life, Danny would look back on this part of the journey and know that he had lived it to the full. He would look at the tearful faces of those looking down at him and wish they were celebrating with him; not crying the final moments of this part of the journey away. Before taking his last breath, he’d demand that they not be sad for him.

Danny believed that nobody before him had lived such an extraordinary, peculiar and exciting life. He firmly believed that those in the future would look back at his ongoing journey and be envious. On closing his eyes for yet another interlude, he would wonder what next would be in store for him. Life never ended. You simply moved on to the next chapter.

Many years before, just as he was starting his first-ever part-time job, a simple comment would be one of the very few things that stayed with Danny for his entire life.

“Oh my god, they’ve written about your arse!” were the words spoken by Lee, a barman. “I can’t believe they mentioned your arse. Look!”

Taking the paper from Lee, Danny’s eyes instantly focused on the title of the publication. London’ Bears.

Sensing the wide-opened eyes of Lee on him, a big grin appeared across Danny’s face. He knew that his body’s best feature was his bottom, and here it was now being confirmed in a publication. And, more recently, it had been confirmed by Nick, Danny’s boyfriend.

Standing at five feet ten inches tall, Danny Johnson may have had the best bottom in the world, but he disliked his pale complexion. He always had to cover up during hot summer’ days, which meant no going shirtless with all the other guys. Freckles dotted his arms, and his red hair would have been very wavy if he’d let it grow. But he never allowed it to grow, always getting it cut at least once every three weeks. Danny disliked long hair on men. It just made them look feminine.

He always felt on top of the world after a haircut. It made him feel clean and confident, but most of all, Danny believed it made him stand out in a crowd.

His confidence would dwindle as his hair grew. It was as if the confidence was sand in an egg timer which would fill up again the moment his hair got cut.

Whenever he needed a confidence boost, Danny would get the hair clippers out. As he clipped his hair to the number one setting on the clippers, the confidence would come flooding back. There would be occasions when he would find himself cutting his hair at three O’clock in the morning, especially after miserable nights out where he had played at being a wallflower all evening without anybody attempting to chat him up.

Tales From Over The Rainbow‘ is a novel in the making. These are its first 539 words.

Danny Johnson is the main character.

What do you think of Danny? Is he a likeable character? Would you like to read the next part of Tales From Under The Rainbow?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Thank you so much.

Click here to read the final version of this part (and other parts) of the story after taking all feedback into consideration.

Click here to leave feedback on part 2 of the story.

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44 thoughts on “Tales From Under The Rainbow (Part 1) #AmWriting

  1. Intriguing, Hugh! I like Geoff’s suggestion too. 🙂 That would be a great hook. His thoughts about his death are also really interesting because it makes me want to understand what happened and what the afterlife is like for him.

    1. Thank you, Diana. I’ve rewritten this part of the story. I have a post ready to go out on Monday about the feedback I got. This morning, I added ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow’ to be menu bar of my blog. Anyone clicking the link will see the results of the first published part of the story. I’ll be announcing that on Monday in the post. Then the next 500 words of the story are being published on Tuesday along with my appeal for feedback again. We’ll see if the story has legs to carry on.

  2. I enjoyed the story and think it would be a fun book. I also read Geoff’s comment, and so agree – start with the ass and edit the frills before it, possibly sticking in those earlier bits somewhere else as the story continues 🙂 x

  3. Ok, I don’t think I’ve ever written this before, but start with the arse. The most compelling part is Danny’s bottom. Imagine Nick’s comment opening the book. So many thoughts, questions, comments, ideas flow from that. Imagine a reader picking up the book and reading that. You’d have to read on. You can then circle back to how it shaped his life from there. By comparison, as it is just now, the stuff before is a bit dry, big pictury, helicopter-on-a-life sort of stuff. But after we get a bit granular it real goes. Love the idea, want to know more about Buttocks’ End or whatever it is finally called and want to beta read it when it’s ready. But remember the maxim ‘Salute the Glute’ and put it on top…

    1. Do you mean Lee’s comment, Geoff? I did refer to Nick, but Lee is the only character who said anything in this opening. Whatever, thanks so much for the feedback. It’s very helpful, and Esther has always told me that stories that open with questions are an excellent way to hook the reader straight away. I’ll work on that and your feedback.

      At this stage, I’ve no idea what I’m going to do with this novel yet. It’s been laying in my archives for the best part of the last 8 years. Although it’s over 40,000 words (and not finished yet), I’m weighing up whether it’ll be better to make it a weekly serial on my blog or maybe stick it on Wattpad? Then again, I keep coming back to the book idea. Decisions, decisions. I’m going to publish the next 500 words next week and see how that goes. In the meantime, I’ll work on this part from the feedback you (and others) have given me.

      Thanks again. You’ve given me excellent feedback.

      1. Lee… sorry i didn’t fact check and yes I meant Lee! I posted a weekly extract for about 25 weeks that eventually led to Buster and Moo, having taken the instalments down. It was v helpful, even though by the end i think only a handful were still reading and the comments dwindled. Really it was the discipline involved in writing and posting that helped. I’ve not used wattpad and that may give you a great range of comments. I don’t know. Good luck and hold on to the idea it might become a book. Its a great goal to aim for.

        1. Ahh, I did the same with ‘The Truth App’ story. I had 10 episodes altogether, and by the time I got to episode 10, there were not as many readers as the first few episodes got. That makes me think that a blog series is not a good idea. However, I’m still at the crossroads, sitting and thinking about what direction to take.

          Again, thanks for the brilliant feedback, Geoff. You’ve been most helpful.

    1. Thank you for the feedback, Miriam. I hadn’t realised that opening with a peek at the ending of a story is a great style and that it can get readers hooked. It’s something Chuck mentioned in his comment. I’ll be working on the next part over the next few days and will publish it next week. Thanks again for reading the opening of the novel and for leaving your feedback. It’s all been very useful.

    1. Great, thanks, Terri. With only 539 words being revealed, he sounds like he’s a hit with most of whom have left comments so far. Showing more of the story will tell me if he’s going to be somebody readers want to find out more about. I’ve decided to work on the next 500 words and will go ahead and publish it next week. I’m giving blogging tips a bit of a break, so this series can take some of the limelight.

  4. To me, Danny sounds like a conflicted character with a lot of issues to sort out. I can’t tell if he’s likable yet, but I’m veering towards him not really being likable, his uncertainties and internal conflicts are preventing that.

  5. Hi Hugh, for all the free help you give to us, we can certainly comment on this. I like the title, Danny does seem likeable. I am intrigued about the connection with his self image and hair cuts and the direct correlation. Almost a reverse of Samson. I wonder if a bit more of a hint in the beginning about what made his life so extraordinary would be helpful, But, maybe not, obviously you want people to keep reading to find out and not give it away at the starting gate. I would read more. Michele

    1. Thanks so much for your feedback, Michele. It’s all beneficial for me.

      I do go into more about Danny’s past in the first chapter, so some hints are coming up. The feedback has been good about Danny, so I’ll be publishing the next 500 words next week. My fingers are crossed that you’ll all still want to find out more about Danny and his life (so far).

  6. Hi Hugh, Yes the opening got my attention, especially about the beautiful bottom. 😎 Seriously, opening with a peek at the ending of the story is a great style and one that is grabbing. Good luck with this one and I’ll we watching for more. HUGS

    1. Thanks, Chuck. I’m glad Danny grabbed your attention. I’ve hidden him away for far too long. If I get enough interest, he’ll definitely be making a comeback. And thanks for the comment about opening with a peek at the ending of a story. I never knew it was considered a great style to write with. That’s something new to me.

        1. I’ll be editing as I go along, Clive. I expect there will be large chunks cut out, but also some new ones added. From what I hear, between 50,000 and 70,000 words is the target for a novel. Anything less, and it becomes a novella.

        2. I’ve heard those figures too, but from a position of absolutely no knowledge or experience the best advice I could give is to write the story the way you want it to be and forget about counting the words!

        3. It’ll go for a professional edit before publication, Clive. In my experience, an editor always recommends cutting out large sections of a story that do not give it any value. I just write without looking at the word count (unless I’m writing something that has a strict word count rule). Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it.

  7. Very intriguing, Danny thinks his life is amazing despite the the burden of his fair skin and red hair; so what is Danny’s secret, is he going to reincarnate, is he a time lord?

    1. Thank you, Janet. That’s very interesting what you say about Danny being a Time Lord. It tells me a lot about my writing and my blog. If I do publish the next 500+ words, I wonder if you’ll still think he’s a Time Lord?

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