Help An Author – Tales From Under The Rainbow (Part 4) #AmWriting

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Help An Author

For the last three weeks, I’ve asked for feedback on the opening chapter of a book I have written.

For those who missed the first three parts, ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow‘ is a novel I started writing in 2012.

An update on Part 3

Part 3 has now been added to the ‘Tales From Under Rainbow’ page. Click here to read the story so far.

Readers told me that this part of the story read a lot better than the previous two parts.

‘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 live and work in London.

Part 4

Here are the next 501 words of chapter 1. It continues from where it left off last week, on-board the coach as it leaves Middlesbrough station. In this part we get to find out some of the background as to why Danny and his ex-boyfriend, Nick, spilt up.

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Tales From Under The Rainbow

How disappointing. He could have at least seen me safely off, thought Danny. Seven years of life together and he can’t even be bothered to wave me off out of his life.

Earlier, the journey in the car to the station had been silent and tense. Danny was excited by the prospect of beginning a new life in London while Nick had thought about the future with the new love of his life, Shaun.

Shaun was younger than Danny. His blond curls, deep-blue eyes, six-pack and boyish good looks were something Nick couldn’t resist. He instantly fell for him.

A few years later, Nick regretted the moment he first set eyes on Shaun, wishing instead he had agreed with Danny to have a night at home. But the thought of watching another horror movie while eating a Chinese takeaway lost out to the urge of wanting to be out on the prowl inside a pub full of younger gay men.

It wasn’t long before Danny got suspicious. Nick was hiding someone or something. He set a trap to confirm if his suspicions were correct. On the night the trap was set, Danny’s worst fears came true. Not only had Nick admitted that he had affections for somebody else, but that he had also shared their bed with the new love of his life. It was a moment in the lives of all three men that none of them would forget.

For Danny, months of heartbreak followed. However, an advertisement in the local newspaper advertising for staff to live and work in London would eventually turn the heartbreak into something exciting.

For Nick, the rekindling of lust led to a slippery slide on life’s helter-skelter. As he hit the end of the ride, his final thought would be of the July day he drove Danny to the station and watched the only true love of his life set off on a journey which would not include him. But, thankfully, that wasn’t the end of being in Danny’s life.

For Shaun, life with Nick wasn’t all that Nick had promised. He soon found himself continuing another campaign of chaos and destruction that affected the lives of those he came into contact.

Think positive, Danny told himself. Ahead, lay an unknown but exciting future. Behind, life had been staggering, but the recent events had left a bitter reminder that everything happened for a reason. What was the point of dwelling on the past, and what might have been? The past was gone, and he was now on the verge of something completely new.

Nick was a thing of the past and had a new life with Shaun. No wonder he hadn’t stayed to wave Danny off. Shaun had probably already taken Danny’s place, by moving in and waiting in bed for Nick.

Feeling slightly jealous, Danny closed his eyes. He couldn’t help but think about what had happened between Nick and him. Had it been cruel, setting a trap which Nick fell into headfirst?


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.’   

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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. Sorry I’m late to the party, Hugh. Busy workweeks. As always, I agree with Chuck’s comments. There is some confusion with time in my opinion as well. The relationship was seven years. At some point, you mention “A few years later, Nick regretted …” Is that meant to be in the final year then, when he was cheating on Danny? Some of the paragraphs read a bit jumbled as of now.

    Also, I would put Danny’s thoughts in italics or in quote marks. And, the eight paragraph should end with .”.. came in contact with.” Happy rewriting., 🙂

    1. Hi Liesbet. Nobody is ever late to this party. Whether it’s on the day or months after I publish my request for feedback, I appreciate the time it takes for those leaving me feedback to read and let me know what they think.

      With regards the sentence that begins ‘A few year’s later…’ I’ve changed it to read ‘A few years after splitting up with Danny…’ to make it more transparent. Does that help?

      Thanks for the tip about putting thoughts in italics or putting quote marks around them. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I was going to leave it up to my editor to advice me, but I think I’ll put them in italics.

      Somebody else also mentioned adding ‘with’ to the last sentence in paragraph eight. Grammarly didn’t like it, but I’ve now added it.

      Thanks again for all the feedback. It’s been beneficial.

      1. Yes, that clarifies it. Especially since I (the reader) initially thought those “few years later” were still within the relationship of Danny and Nick. The paragraphs are still jumping back and forth in time a bit (you move from the past to the future and back). Maybe restructuring them makes the story read more fluent.

        1. Yes, I agree, there is a lot of jumping around between different timelines. It’s something I’ll work on before the book goes to the editor. Part 5 is one whole flashback. We’re getting close to the end of chapter 1. From what I recall, there are hardly any flashbacks after this chapter because all the action then takes place in London in 1986.

  2. It’s great Hugh just one little niggle here you have put.
    ‘He soon found himself continuing another campaign of chaos and destruction that affected the lives of those he came into.’ I would just add ‘contact with’ apart from this all is good.

    1. Thanks, Willow. I had a look at that line, and it currently says ‘He soon found himself continuing another campaign of chaos and destruction that affected the lives of those he came into contact.’ When I added ‘with’, Grammarly didn’t like it and told me it wasn’t necessary to include ‘with.’ If and when the book goes to the editor, I’ll see what they say and make any amendments. I don’t always agree with what Grammarly recommends, and I was spilt on this one. Thanks again for reading and leaving feedback.

      1. It’s a pleasure Hugh, we all write differently personally I’d of said “He soon found himself continuing another campaign of chaos that affected the lives of those with whom he came into contact.” Another shuttle difference.💜

  3. Things are heating up nicely Hugh. To be honest, instead of retyping, I will just say that I agree with all the changes Chuck has suggested to clear up time jumps and confusion. 🙂 x

      1. But it will shape up into a fantastic tale, no doubts. It’s a different taste when you willingly expose your rough drafts to the world. I commend you. 🙂 x

  4. I read fast, but I read it all. Lots of unfolding here and answers to questions. Part of my would suggest doing something different with the time jump when you say, “A few years later, Nick regretted the moment…” However, there are several places in this section where you use time or words about time, so maybe that is part of what you are indicating, changes with time, passages of time, looking back, looking forward. Not sure any of this helps, just noting observations. Michele

  5. I’m confused about the opening paragraph. “How disappointing. He could have at least seen me safely off… ” Since the next paragraph and later sections you tell the reader Nick took him to the station, delete that first paragraph. It adds nothing but confusion.
    As a suggestion, try this. ” The thought of spending another night watching horror movies and eating Chinese takeaway sent Nick into lust for the pub filled with younger gay men. It was where he first set eyes on Shaun.” Later paragraphs you tell us after he gets caught, Nick regrets losing the ‘love of his life’. Don’t give away the suspense too early.
    I would also delete “…No wonder he hadn’t stayed to wave Danny off.” It only adds more confusion to Nick taking Danny to the station. Does it matter that he didn’t stay? You already told the reader Nick has regrets.
    I also agree with the other comments you are keeping the conflict and suspense moving forward at a great pace. I still want more. HUGS

    1. Hi Chuck, that first paragraph follows on nicely from where Part 3 left off, don’t you think? I could have added it to part 3 but didn’t want too many words for people to read. I’m trying to stick to no more than 550 words per piece. Remember that these parts are all of the same chapter (chapter one).

      Thanks so much for the other suggestions. I’ve made some alterations.

      And that’s excellent feedback about the conflict and suspense moving forward at a great pace. Thank you so much.

  6. Love it, and I’m delighted to read that he “set the trap.” It reminded of my sister when she ‘knew’ hubby was cheating. She got a P.I. to follow him and caught him at his “girlfriend’s”. Just a few thoughts Hugh, for brevity and pace.

    But the thought of another horror movie and a Chinese takeaway lost out to the urge to be out on the prowl, inside a pub full of younger gay men.

    He set a trap to confirm his suspicions and the night the trap was set, Danny’s worst fears came true.

    Behind, life had been staggering, but the recent events had left a bitter reminder that everything happened for a reason.

    What does ‘staggering’ mean here Hugh?

    1. Caz, thanks so much for the feedback. I’ve made some alterations to the bits you highlighted.

      In the sentence, you highlighted, staggering means astonishing. However, I didn’t like ‘astonishing.’ Now you’ve highlighted it, I’ve changed ‘staggering’ to ‘tremendous.’ Do you think that fits better?

      And sorry to hear about what happened to your sister’s marriage. Good to hear she got herself out of the relationship.

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