Help An Author – Tales From Under The Rainbow (Part 9) #AmWriting

This is the final part of chapter one from ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow’, a book I started writing in 2012.

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Help An Author

An update on Part 8

Part eight 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 9

Here are the final 502 words of chapter one. It continues on the coach journey to London with Danny. We get to know some more about two new characters (one of which will become a major character) which we had a brief glimpse of last week.

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Tales From Under The Rainbow

Not really interested in what Jane had to say, Danny tried to look attentive.  

“Don’t worry, it’ll only take a few minutes,” she laughed. “A few minutes to take away the coach sickness I suffer with.” 

Fumbling around the plastic carrier bag again, she produced another bar of chocolate and offered it to Danny. 

“Fruit and nut? That’s my favourite. How did you know?”

“Oh, good. You and I are going to get on so well,” replied Jane as she extended her hand to Danny. “Did I introduce myself?”

“Yes, you did,” answered Danny, leaning across and hardly able to reach her outstretched hand.

“How nice,” came a female voice from the seats in front of Danny. Jane and Danny looked towards the voice. “Looks like this coach could be the ‘love coach’, Jack,” giggled the woman at the man beside her.  

Raising his eyebrows, Danny responded.

“The Love coach?” he blurted out. If only you knew that I’d probably rather sleep with your husband than Jane, he thought. 

Smiling, Danny thought it funny how she thought he was straight. Not a bad thing when faced with some situations, but not this one. She obviously had no idea, but then probably neither did most of the passengers on the coach.

“We’re celebrating our ruby wedding anniversary,” announced the woman as she held up a greetings card with the words ‘To my beautiful wife’ on the front. It immediately answered some of the questions Danny had about the couple. 

“This is my husband, Jack,” declared the woman as she looked down at the man next to her. “Stand up, Jack and introduce yourself to the young couple.” 

“Do I have to, Gwen? Leave them alone,” came a muffled voice.

“Yes, you do! Stand up and say hello.” 

Watching, Danny saw a rather rugged and handsome man stand up. Despite his age and signs of grey hair, Jack’s moustache showed no signs of ageing. Had he taken more notice of the couple on his way to his seat, he’d probably had tried making eye contact with Jack. He’d done it before, often with much success, and had always preferred older men. 

Gwen, on the other hand, looked much older than her husband, with a typical blue-rinse hairstyle and a face covered with crow’s feet from too much sun. The light-blue dress meant for women far younger than her was nice, but it was the string of pearls and matching earrings that made her look more her age.

“Nice to meet you,” said Jack, before quickly sitting down again. 

“He’s a little shy,” laughed Gwen. You’d never have guessed that he’s usually the life and soul of the party.”

Trying not to laugh, Danny and Jane looked at each other before offering Gwen some chocolate.

For the next six hours, some of the passengers on the coach got to know each other, while others slept or kept to themselves. New chapters were about to begin in all their lives, some of which would be life-changing.


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.

20 thoughts

  1. If the last paragraph is the end of the chapter or a significant section, I would eliminate it. For me, it’s too generic and offers no suspense enticing the reader to want more. I would have either Danny or Jane look at the other, give a devious wink or smile. This would give the reader the idea something is going on that lure them into reading on. No offense, but all this activity on the train, is dragging on too long and becoming a little boring. Spice it up a with more action or move on to the next area (e.g. London).

    1. I’m not happy with that final paragraph either, Chuck. However, much of the feedback seems to like the way I’ve wrapped up this chapter. So, rather than delete it, I’m going to reword it.

      Chapter 2 is when the coach arrives in London. Rereading chapter 1, most of the action seems to focus on Danny’s flashbacks. The rest is where I’ve introduced characters who are going to feature in the story (apart from Nick and Shaun who feature in the flashbacks). I’ll be working on the finished chapter once I’ve added this last section. I’ve learned a lot over the previous weeks, so there are probably parts of the chapter than can be deleted.

      Thanks again for all the feedback you’ve given me.

  2. Hi Hugh it’s coming along really well.
    Just a few slashes, I mean tweeks 😊
    “This is my husband, Jack,” declared the woman as she looked down at the man next to her. “Stand up, Jack and introduce yourself to the young couple.”
    Unless she’s really tall surely she’d just look at , as opposed to looked down at.
    Also agree with Liesbet about the verb look but I as you say you’ve addressed that.😊

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Willow. When I read it, I realised that I’d missed out a section about Gwen standing up when she first spoke and faced Danny and Jane. I’ve added it into the story now.

  3. In the section “Danny looked towards the voice. “Looks like this coach could be the ‘love coach’, Jack,” giggled the woman at the man beside her, “ you have the verb “to,look” twice close together. I would get rid of the words “Looks like” in the second sentence and change it to “This coach should be called the Love Coach, Jack” Also, be consistent with the capitals in Love Coach. I would capitalize both words, both times you mention it.

    In the sentence “Smiling, Danny thought it funny how she thought he was straight,” I would change the second “thought” into “assumed”: “how she assumed he was…”

    It might be just me, hut I don’t know how many years a “ruby wedding anniversary” is. Maybe you can slip that into a sentence somewhere? Maybe Danny can congratulate the couple with their …th anniversary?

    Well done, Hugh, and a nice conclusion and foreshadowing of this first chapter.

    1. Hi Liesbet, thanks so much for the feedback. I’ve made the changes. I need to be more aware of ‘echo’ words — no excuse when Grammarly has a feature that suggests different words to the ones you’re using.

      I appreciate all the feedback you’ve given me on this first chapter, Liesbet. You’ve been of enormous help to me. I’ll be writing and publishing a roundup post about this feature and will certainly be mentioning you for all the help you’ve given me.

      1. You’re very welcome, Hugh. Feedback is important throughout the writing process. I had a handful of beta readers help me after one of the earlier drafts of my travel memoir and hired a professional editor for two rounds of edits in the final version. Next up, two proofreaders will scrutinize the story, before I do my last read-through. If I ever write another book, having a critique partner from the start would be nice. Enjoy the edits and rewrites! 🙂

    2. Liesbet said what I was going to mention about duplicating words and the ‘looks like’ sentence. And I’ve never heard of ruby anniversary either. But it’s shaping up nicely and I like the storyline how stranger’s lives entwine on a bus ride. Perfect ending to keep us wanting to learn what’s next. 🙂

      1. Thanks, Debby.

        Maybe it’s only in the UK that we celebrate ruby wedding anniversaries? I’ve added in a sentence to the story that says –

        “We’re celebrating our ruby wedding anniversary,” announced the woman. “40 years of marriage, look,” she said, holding up a greetings card with the words ‘To my beautiful wife on our 40th Wedding Anniversary’ on the front. It immediately answered some of the questions Danny had about the couple.

        I hope that clears up what they are?

        I’m glad you like how I ended this chapter, although I’m going to reword the last paragraph as I’m not entirely happy with it.

        Thanks so much for all the feedback you’ve given me over the last nine weeks. I appreciate it very much.

        1. Thanks, Liesbet. That’s a few more redundant words kicked out of the story. I was a little concerned that the word count for this part had incraesed, rather than reduced. It’s helped, thank you.

        2. Bingo! That flows nicely Hugh! Of course, as writers, we rework and rework, just don’t alter your hook:
          “For the next six hours, some of the passengers on the coach got to know each other, while others slept or kept to themselves. New chapters were about to begin in all their lives, some of which would be life-changing.” Just eliminate “on the coach’ (unncecessary) and ‘some of which” “New life-changing chapters would develop for these passengers,

  4. I very good wrap up of the chapter. Leaving readers wanting more. I might change the first line to – Although not really interested…. Adding although makes it clearer for me. Just a suggestion.

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