Help An Author – Tales From Under The Rainbow (Part 7) #AmWriting

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

Banner for Help An Author showing a pile of books with one pile having a plant piot on top of it.
Help An Author

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

An update on Part 6

Part 6 has now been added to the ‘Tales From Under Rainbow’ page. Click here to read the story so far.

Thank you to everyone who left feedback for me. Once again, I’m so grateful to you all.

What is Tales From Under The Rainbow?

‘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 7

Here are the next 507 words of chapter 1. It continues from where it left off last week, focusing on a flashback Danny is having as he analyses the split-up between himself and Nick.

Banner for Tales From Under The Rainbow - a new book by Hugh W. Roberts
Tales From Under The Rainbow

“Cat got your tongue?” asked Danny. “Just tell me the truth. Was Shaun here last night?”

“No, he wasn’t!” Nick shouted back.

For a moment, Danny felt relieved. Perhaps Shaun hadn’t been here.

“Really?”

A stony silence formed.

“Don’t lie to me, Nick! I’ve been your boyfriend for the last 7 years; the most important person in your life, or so I thought. Don’t lie to me,” cried Danny as tears trickled down his face.

Another awkward pause followed before Nick spoke.

“You know, don’t you? How do you know? Have you been checking up on me? I never thought anybody would come between us, Danny. I am so sorry. I never ever wanted this to happen.”

“But you allowed it to happen.”

Danny wondered if the stocky man in front of him was also on the verge of breaking down. Another developing silence in the house became something neither of them wanted to break. It was only interrupted by the sudden rush of Nick leaving the kitchen and the heavy thud of his footsteps climbing the stairs.

The loud noise of a door being slammed startled Danny. For a moment, the house was at peace again. Then the sound of gentle sobbing broke the air, making Danny feel guilty.

Wiping away the dried up journies of the tears on his face, Danny tried to make sense of what had just happened. It had all happened so quickly. Had Nick admitted to him that another man had come between them? Had another man stolen Nick’s feelings? Was Nick now a man who would no longer have any significance in Danny’s life?

Briefly, echoes of laughter and joy tried to furnish Danny’s head, but they were quickly beaten back by a dark cloud that strangled the happiness out of the last seven years.

Then he remembered the vodka bottle. Did it matter that he’d not checked if the trap had worked? Did he need to see if the bottle held the confirmation he so much did not want to witness?

Walking out of the kitchen with his head held low, Danny entered the showroom-like living room where everything was neatly in its place.

When he looked up again, the first thing he saw was the mobile-drinks bar Nick had so passionately wanted when they had first seen it in the department store.

Danny loved him so much that it never mattered to him that Nick had spent the whole holiday fund on buying it. After all, it made the man of his life happy, and that was far more important than any holiday.

Crossing his fingers, he walked towards the bar and hoped that the trap had not gone off.

Bending down, to grab the bottle, Danny placed it on top of the bar and checked for the mark he’d left on it the previous evening. For a moment, he thought the alcohol he had consumed the night before was playing tricks with his eyes. Wide-eyed, he moved his head towards the bottle and stood, shocked, with disbelief.


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.

17 thoughts

  1. Love where you left us in suspense. I suggest trimming of filter words and telling parts, example: “Bending down, to grab the bottle, Danny placed it on top of the bar and checked for the mark he’d left on it the previous evening. ” – You could condense and turn into a showing sentence example – “Danny knelt down to grab the bottle and checked the mark he’d left on it last night, then set it on the bar.” Hope that helps ❤

      1. One of the trickiest parts of writing that gets us all until we learn how to conquer. I know well from my first book. We all get caught in that Hugh. A good editor helps with this and eventually, as writers, we learn better how to conquer. 🙂 x

  2. This piece was well paced, Hugh, especially, towards the end. I think numbers (your 7), especially under ten should be spelled out.

    In the sentence “Wiping away the dried up journies of the tears on his face, Danny tried to make sense of what had just happened,” I would delete “journies of the”. Tighter is better. This paragraph also has used the word “had” a lot. Maybe cutting some words or finding different ways to phrase it might work better.

    Well done!

    1. ‘Word echos.” I read an article about ‘word echos’ over the weekend, Liesbet, so the ‘had’ feedback you gave me makes complete sense. I’ve also lost a few words from this part of the story.

      Once again, thank you for reading and leaving feedback. Your support and encouragement are keeping me going.

  3. Hi Hugh,
    Busy week here, but I do want to comment. I agree with Willow that whenever possible, reduce the words. Especially if you have already told us an emotion, observation, etc. Trust your reader, they will get it the first time. Your story is building the tension and suspense and has most of us hooked. HUGS

  4. I was gripped, Hugh and the tension builds nicely. It shows clearly the different perspectives of Danny and Nick and how their connection is fractured, yet leaves enough ‘blank filling’ to the reader’s imagination. x

  5. Oh! Hugh I am engrossed in this story. You always cut off at the point where I want more!
    I am afraid I have got the knife out again and cut down on some of your words. Hope you don’t mind, just feel free to ignore me or delete this answer but I see it like this.

    Cat got your tongue?” asked Danny. “Just tell me the truth. Was Shaun here last night?”

    “No, he wasn’t!” Nick shouted back.

    For a moment, Danny felt relieved. Perhaps Shaun hadn’t been here.

    “Really?”

    A stony silence fell.

    “Don’t lie to me, Nick! We’ve been together for the last 7 years; I was most important person in your life, or so I thought. Tears trickled down Danny’s face.

    Another awkward pause before Nick spoke.

    “You know, don’t you? How do you know? Have you been checking up on me? I never thought anybody would come between us, Danny. I am so sorry. I never ever wanted this to happen.”

    “But you allowed it to happen.”

    Danny wondered if the stocky man in front of him was also on the verge of tears. Another deep silence in the house was something neither of them wanted. It was only interrupted by the sudden rush of Nick leaving the kitchen and the heavy thud of his footsteps climbing the stairs.

    The loud noise of a door being slammed startled Danny. For a moment, the house was at peace again. Then the sound of gentle sobbing broke the air, making Danny feel guilty.

    Wiping away the dried up tracks of tears on his face, Danny tried to make sense of what had just happened. It had all happened so quickly. Had Nick admitted to him that another man had come between them? Had another man stolen Nick’s feelings? Was Nick now a man who would no longer have any significance in Danny’s life?

    Briefly, echoes of laughter and joy tried to invade Danny’s head, but they were quickly beaten back by a dark cloud that strangled the happiness out of the last seven years.

    Then he remembered the vodka bottle. Did it matter that he’d not checked if the trap had worked? Did he need to see if the bottle held the confirmation he so much did not want to witness?

    Walking out of the kitchen with his head bent, Danny entered the showroom-like living room where everything was neatly in its place.

    When he looked up again, the first thing he saw was the mobile-drinks bar Nick had so passionately wanted when they had first seen it in the department store.

    Danny loved him so much that it never mattered to him that Nick had spent the whole holiday fund on buying it. After all, it made the man of his life happy, and that was far more important than any holiday.

    Crossing his fingers, he walked towards the bar and hoped that the trap had not gone off.

    Bending down, to grab the bottle, Danny placed it on top of the bar and checked for the mark he’d left on it the previous evening. For a moment, he thought the alcohol he had consumed the night before was playing tricks with his eyes. Wide-eyed, he moved his head towards the bottle and stood, shocked, with disbelief

    Remember the above is just a suggestion. I am loving the story.💜

    1. Thanks, Willow. That’s not too much of slashing words, but I’ve gone for some of your suggestions. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the story. I’m so thankful to everyone that has left me feedback on each episode. We’re nearing the end of chapter 1 now.

      Thank you for all your feedback. I appreciate your time and for your suggestions.

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