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For the last two weeks, I’ve asked for feedback on the opening chapter of a book I wrote 8 years ago. The response I got has been terrific. But best of all is that readers are telling me they want to read more.
For those who missed the first two parts, ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow‘ is a novel I started writing in 2012.
Over the last two weeks, I published the first 1,051 words of chapter 1 on my blog and asked for readers to give me feedback.
As a result, 1,051 words have been reduced to 880 words. I also have got rid of a lot of the foreshadowing, which was confusing readers.
‘Tales From Under The Rainbow’ follows the adventures of Danny Johnson. Set in 1986, Danny is about to face life-changing events when he travels to London to live and work.
I’m publishing new parts of the story every week and asking for your help by leaving me feedback. From the feedback, I will rewrite that part and release the new version on the ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow‘ page.
Here are the next 505 words of chapter 1. It continues from where it left off last week, on-board the coach at Middlesbrough station. This week we’re meeting another new, major character, known as Hamble, although that’s not her real name.
Although he was the last passenger to board the coach, Danny managed to find a row of unoccupied seats.
As Dougie revved up the engine, Danny sat down. A woman in the opposite row sighed relief and looked over at him.
“Air conditioning,” she declared while fanning her face with a magazine. “I just hate being so hot!”
With short brown hair that had a slight curl to it and a gorgeous doll-like face, Danny thought she looked like something his grandmother had on display in a porcelain cabinet. She looked about the same age as Danny and wore a long, white dress decorated with a large, red floral print. Her large brown eyes made her look like a doll Danny recalled seeing on a children’s TV show. He immediately nicknamed her ‘Hamble.’
Smiling back at her, he could have taken what she’d just said one of two ways. Either she was saying she hated the heat, or disliked being so good looking that just about every man she passed in the street would want to sleep with her.
“Not been a bad summer so far, but don’t you hate it being so hot that the news features those stupid stories of people claiming to have fried an egg on the pavement? Why would anyone want to fry an egg on the pavement? It’s not as if you can eat it afterwards,” giggled Hamble.
Out of politeness, Danny nodded his head.
“Then again”, she said, “maybe they’re making a point?”
“Yes,” replied Danny. “I’m not too fond of the heat either. I’d rather be too cold than too hot. At least you can wrap up warm.”
Danny’s mind began to wander again. It was as if the row of seats he had sat in and nicknamed ‘daydream alley’ were true to their name. But why was last Christmas on his mind? As usual, he’d spent it with Nick. Ah, yes, Nick. Where was Nick? He’d driven him to the coach station.
The noise of Hamble fumbling around some items in a plastic carrier bag broke his thinking. Taking out a giant chocolate bar and unwrapping it carefully, she took a large bite out of it, even though it was on the verge of melt-down.
“I couldn’t live without air conditioning or chocolate,” Hamble announced while savouring the day’s first taste of chocolate. “Unless it’s chocolate in a cake or a biscuit. I once worked with a girl who ate two large chocolate chip cookies and drunk a can of diet cola for breakfast. We nicknamed her ‘Fat Nat’,” she laughed.
Smiling at the cruel name, Danny asked if Nat ate salad for lunch.
While Hamble carried on talking, her voice became a dwindling echo in Danny’s head. Panic set in again, and he could feel his heart pounding the wall of his chest.
As the coach turned out of Middlesbrough station, Danny realised he’d forgotten about Nick. Quickly peering out of the window, his eyes searched for his ex-boyfriend, but Nick was nowhere in sight.
Now it’s over to you.
I’m looking for your feedback on this next part of chapter 1.
- 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.’
I’ve created a Page on my blog where you can read the new version of the story. Click on ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow’ on the menu bar to access it.
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