Tales From Under The Rainbow (Part 2) #AmWriting

Thank you to everyone who left feedback on part 1 of the story, which you can read by clicking here.

Special thanks to Geoff Le Pard, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Chuck Jackson and Paul Ariss for their feedback.

Tales From Over The Rainbow‘ is a novel in the making. These are the next 512 words. The story continues from where we left it in part 1. Today we’ll meet a new major character, Dougie Marsh.

Today, life was giving Danny a day he would never forget. It would be the day that changed everything. It would ensure his path of life crossed the paths of many other travellers all on their journeys through time.

What lay ahead for Danny was something he had often dreamt about ever since the first time he’d stepped off the train at Paddington station. Seven years earlier had been his first trip to London. It was the beginning of the romance he’d have with the city for the rest of his life.

Climbing the three steps to board the coach in Middlesborough station, Danny came face to face with the driver whom he acknowledged with a smile.

“Ticket please”, demanded the driver with a cheeky smile.

Blushing, Danny placed his bag on the floor. Thinking how ridiculous he must seem to all the other passengers, he fumbled around for his ticket. Although he disliked large groups of people starring at him, he always craved being the centre of attention.

He remembered how exiting he’d felt the day he’d purchased the ticket to London. The prospect of starting a new chapter in his life had stayed with him right up until this moment. Now, however, doubt was setting in. Was he doing the right thing by moving to London?

“Sorry,” announced Danny, looking up and noticing the badge on the driver’s shirt. ‘Dougie Marsh.’

“No problem,” responded Dougie. “Take your time. It looks as if you’re off on a mighty adventure.”

“Yes, I suppose I am,” replied Danny, hoping that the other passengers could not overhear the conversation. “I’ve lived here for six years and have decided to go through the new door life opened for me.”

“Oh come on, driver,” shouted a voice from the far end of the coach, “I kinda need to get to London today, not next week! Stop flirting with the cute guy and get on with getting us all there.”

Blushing again, Danny wondered if Dougie Marsh was flirting with him. Surely not? Anyway, even if he was, he wasn’t Danny’s type.

“Ah, here it is,” announced a delighted Danny, pulling the ticket from the inside of his wallet. “I’ve hardly let this ticket out of my sight since I purchased it. It’s become as important as having a best friend.” Handing the ticket to Dougie, he noticed how small Dougie’s hand was and how bitten down his nails were. Maybe he was an ex-smoker who had just quit or perhaps he was going through a tense time in his life?

“A best friend?” commented Dougie. “You must be on one significant journey.”

A loud cough from the back of the coach interrupted the conversation. The young man who had earlier accused Dougie of flirting looked Danny directly in the eye. It was a piercing look, one that without saying anything, Danny knew what action to take.

Picking up his bag, Danny made his way down the coach not realising the eyes of the driver were admiring a perfect backside in the rearview mirror of the coach.


Now it’s over to you.

As with part 1, I’m looking for your feedback on this second part of the story.

  • Did you read part 1 of the story?
  • What did you like/dislike about this part?
  • Are there any changes you’d recommend?

All feedback is welcome. Please leave me your comments.

Thank you so much.

Click here to read more about why I’m asking for your help in writing ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow.’

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Author: Hugh W. Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom. My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my blogging tips posts. If you have any questions about blogging or anything else, please contact me by clicking on the 'Contact Hugh' button on the menu bar. Click on the 'Meet Hugh' button on the menu bar to learn more about me and my blog.

29 thoughts

  1. Well, I was hooked with part 1 Hugh and wanted to know what’s happened to Danny. I’m glad Part 2 takes us back and will be definitely reading your next instalments. I’m also finding the comments and suggestions very interesting, as a wanna-be writer I mean. I know I’m late to this, but I’m thoroughly enjoying this Hugh.

    1. That’s great to hear, thanks, Sam. I’m delighted with the feedback on the first two sections. I’ll be working on this section this weekend and publishing it on the ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow’ page next week. Then it’s on to the next section. Thanks so much for joining us on the ride.

  2. Getting interesting. I’m with a few others here. I seem to have to reread the meeting with Dougie, with a bit of confusion. It didn’t seem Dougie reacted in response to Danny’s recognition of him. And I would cut the first paragraph. ❤ (and sorry I couldn't hit 'like' as everything technical is giving me grief ) 🙂

    1. I think the flashbacks I’ve included have caused some confusion, Debby. The story is set in 1986, and this is the first time Dougie and Danny have met. If the book goes into publication, the blurb will say that it’s set in 1986. I need to work on some of the flashbacks. I’ve cut the first paragraph out of this section. Both sections (and several others yet to come) are all the first chapter of the book. I didn’t want to overwhelm everyone with the whole of the first chapter. Once again, I’ve had some great feedback on this section. I’ll be putting the final version of this section on the ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow’ page next week. I’m hoping there won’t be the confusion the flashbacks have caused. And, as Geoff rightly said in his comment, I need to do lots more showing, not telling.

      Sorry to hear about the technical problems you’re encountering. Don’t worry about the ‘like’ button. I don’t take any notice of who has pressed it anyway. Comments are far more important to me.

  3. I like it Hugh, good job Danny didn’t have his clippers at the top of his bag when he was looking for the ticket, which by the way if it was his new best friend would of been easily found …
    I know it was the excuse to set up the conversation but … Anyway I bet the first thing Danny will do is visit the barber’s after settling in in the big bad city. 💜

    1. At this point in the story, I’m not sure that hair clippers were available for the general public to buy, Willow. Barbers first started using them in the 1940s, but I’ve not been able to find when they were available to the general public to buy. Right up until my late teens, I always went to the barbers to get my haircut. I didn’t buy my first pair of hair clippers until well into the 2000s. I’ll have to do some research to find out more.

  4. Hi Hugh. The only thing that I’d add – and this is just an opinion – is that line from Dougie – “it looks like you’re off on a mighty adventure” seems like something someone would say in a children’s book, and not something one adult would say to another, particularly a bus driver who must see many people on his bus going to London. It just didn’t sound natural to me.

    Hope that’s helpful even if you decide to ignore,

    Paul

    1. Paul, thanks for this feedback. I agree with what you have said. I’ll see about changing that line to make it sound more adult. Nothing comes to mind yet, but I’m sure it will.

      Thanks again. You’ve been a great help.

      1. I’m sure you’ll think of something but glad it helped a little, I’m always wary of coming over patronising so forgive me if I ever do! Glad you’re getting the feedback from people generally.

  5. I think the previous comments cover it. When you’re setting the scene be wary about describing backstory – the cliche ‘show don’t tell’ is a good rule to judge by. If you need to set the scene – and i dont think you do – have it emerge in conversation. You should ask yourself why the reader needs to know this is important if that will emerge later in the story. Trust your readers, don’t try and lead them. Really this scene is about Danny recalling catching the bus to london and meeting two guys who may or may not fancy him and him them. The rest – crossroads in his life, doors opening, new paths, etc you don’t need. A small example. The driver’s nails are bitten. Speculation why, unless it is really relevant to the plot are just padding- Danny’s reaction, however – disgust say – reveal character and is good.

    1. Geoff, thanks again for your valued feedback. It’s all great, and I am one of those writers who often over-describes things which you rightly pointed out don’t have much to do with the story. Back in 2012, when I wrote this book, it was written after liquid lunches on the island of Cyprus (over two weeks). Liquid lunches are a thing of my past, but I think that’s why the book has a lot of over-description in it.

      Dougie’s bitten-down nails are important to the story (as we’ll find out), but there’s definitely other stuff that I’ll be getting rid of. There are lots of flashbacks coming up during the coach journey, but (from what I recall) they play an essential part.

      Thanks again. You’ve been fantastic with the feedback. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know what you think.

    1. That’s fantastic to hear, thank you, Donna.

      The first paragraph has gone. I’ll be adding the final version of this part of the story on the ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow’ page next week.

  6. This part reads easily, Hugh, especially towards the end, when I really got into the story. Again,

    I’m a bit confused in the beginning about all the time frames. You start with “today” in the first paragraph, then “What lay ahead for him” (future) and in the same breath you talk about “seven years ago” (past), which is when I assume this part of the bus story takes place? A bit confusing. Maybe you can work something out? Skip the “Ahead…” part or take the advice of Aimer and start on the bus. I think that would draw readers in more. The foreshadowing can be a bit too much or confusing at times. Better to jump into the action. My two cents, anyway.

    This section in paragraph 5 is conflicting: “Although he disliked large groups of people starring at him, he always craved being the centre of attention.” If you’d like to be the center of attention, I’d assume you don’t mind people looking at you… I think you meant “staring” instead of “”starring” as well. Small typo. 🙂

    1. Hi Liesebet,

      Thanks again for all the great feedback.

      I’m getting rid of the first paragraph in this part of the story. And to help get rid of some of the confusion, I’ve made some changes to the next section. It includes these lines –

      ‘Seven years earlier had been his first trip to London. Now on his fourth trip, his romance with the city was about to get serious.’

      If this book goes into publication, the blurb will mention that the whole story is set in 1986.

      As for the confliction in paragraph 5, it’s more to do with the kind of person Danny is, so it’s more to do with his character. That’s the kind of person he is. He’d say something like “I dislike desserts, but still eat a carton of yoghurt with ice-cream because if part of it is healthy, then it can’t be classed as a dessert.

      Thanks for pointing out the error in ‘staring.’ I’ll be having the book professionally edited before going to print, so these gremlins will get pointed out then too.

      Thanks again for the excellent feedback you’ve given on this part of the story. It’s helped tremendously.

  7. Wow, any suggestions I would have made have already been ‘spoken’ by Aimer and Chuck. Their suggestions make perfect sense to me and the story would read more easily. As Chuck mentioned, “the new door life opened…..” is that a Northern thing 😉

    And changing the last two paragraphs (Chuck again lol) is perfect!

    1. Thank you, Caz.

      No, not a northern thing. What I was doing was referring to ‘life’ as if Danny saw ‘life’ as a person. I asked Chuck the same question, but would it help if I put quote marks around ‘life’ to emphasis it? It’s a term Danny uses when he looks as to why things happen. In this case, he believes ‘life’ itself has opened the door for him.

      I’ll wait and see what you, Chuck (and others) come back and say. I’ve often read advice that says we shouldn’t use terms we commonly use that nobody else would understand. And that makes perfect sense to me.

  8. Hi, Hugh. Just found this and wow! You’re brave 🙂

    Suggestion: I’d skip the first paragraph and get right to Danny getting on the bus.
    Also, maybe ease up on the foreshadowing…

    That’s only my very amateur two cents worth, I’m certainly no expert 🙂

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Aimer. That first sentence is defiantly going. I’ve also changed it a little to reflect some other feedback I got. I’ll be adding the second part of the story to the first part on the ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow’ page as soon as all the feedback has been looked at. You can check it out here.

      I appreciate your feedback. After all, when it comes to LGBT fiction, you’ve written several books in the genre. So I think your input is as important any anybody else’s.

      Thank you.

  9. Since you are looking for feedback, I will comment. Is “..the new door life opened for me…” a British expression that would be recognized by your readers. I find it confusing, but if it’s a familiar expression, don’t change it. Another suggestion; try “..The young man who had earlier accused Dougie of flirting gave him a piercing look…” Cut the remainder of that paragraph and substitute your final paragraph. You have already told your reader about this rude individual and Danny’s reaction to him. With Danny picking up his bag and moving, the reader will fully understand what has happened and you have set the mood for further actions.

    1. In that sentence, I was referring to ‘life’ as if Danny saw it as a person, Chuck. Would it help if I put quote marks around it to emphasis it? It’s a term Danny uses when he looks as to why things happen. In this case, he believes ‘life’ itself has opened the door for him.

      I like what you suggest with the ‘piecing look’ sentence. Plus, it gets rid of unnecessary text. I have a terrible habit of over-explaining things.

      Thanks again for this feedback, Chuck. It’s been very helpful.

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