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It was a dark and stormy night

29 August, 2013

A few weeks ago I shared the opening of my new novel with you. Not so much the first line as a short quote from the main character which will appear italicised before Chapter One – a sort of mini-prologue which is in fact a hint of what is to come later.

Anyway, after a short break while i did other things including go on holiday, I have now started work on Chapter One itself. Those elusive First Lines came to me, or at least the first draft of them did, so as promised I will share them with you. This might be the whole of Chapter One or it might just be the first scene, I don’t know yet, and it is still rough so please forgive its imperfections. But for now, here is The Beginning…



That was her. Definitely her. A glimpse in the ornate mirror of a Saturday night Weatherspoons had been too elusively brief for him to properly see her face, not that he would not have recognised her because they had never met, but that did not prevent a tsunami of déjà vu.

‘Back in a minute,’ he said, and turned away from the group. He walked towards the bar where the ornate mirror was sited, drawing his phone from his pocket as he approached. The queues at the bar meant he still could not see her reflection, but he could see her straight black hair, her straight black dress, the tattoo of a ladybird on her bare shoulder, and he liked what he saw. He excused his way to the front of the queue, ignoring the disapproving looks and insults, and leant on the bar next to her. He placed his phone to his ear, turned to her, and saw her for the first time. She was as beautiful as he remembered, her dark eyes and Mediterranean tone drew an involuntary smile.

Her attention was still on the three over-worked bar staff, smiling towards them in the hope that one of them might take her order, and for several seconds he waited. Waited for her sixth sense, her peripheral vision, to notice him.

She saw him in the mirror, caught his reflected eye, and faced him.

‘Hi,’ he said.


She turned again to the bar staff, smiled, sighed.  She glanced at the mirror. He was still standing, still looking, still holding his phone. She faced him again. He was smartly, carefully dressed. He took care over his appearance and clearly knew that his tasteful clothes accentuated his good looks.

‘I’m just on the phone to the restaurant now,’ he said, ‘they can fit us in at eight or nine on Tuesday, which is best for you?’

She smiled at his nerve, his original opening line. And his looks. He had done more than enough to earn a dinner date, a second date, a kiss, a third date, maybe even an overnight stay if the third date went well, but she wanted to make him work a little harder.

‘And what makes you think I want to go to dinner with you?’ she asked, turning away from him, waving her purse towards the staff.

‘Because I dreamt that you do,’ he said, ‘and my dreams are never wrong.’



While this may just seem like a cheesy line from a cheesy guy, he is in fact telling the truth, and his dreams become a central part of the plot as the story develops.

So, what do you think?



From → Writing

  1. Morbid Insanity permalink

    “And what makes you think I want to go to dinner with you?” > I loved it! It’s what I’d answer.

    I liked it. I’m still curious. More curious and interested because “his dreams become a central part of the plot as the story develops.” It seems to be very interesting you story.

  2. I like it! So much potential here. I liked his guts a lot. 🙂

  3. Yeah, his cheekiness makes this interesting, but only because you’ve infused a great amount of curiosity-tension throughout. (I’m all about physical tension, so I’m envious of you for being able to pull off the mental stuff.) This feels like a bit of a mystery — is it?

    BTW, thanks for clarifying about this guy’s psychic dreams. Your readers will already know this from the back cover of your book (or the agents you query will know from your query letter), but it was good that you clued us in. Otherwise it would’ve seemed cheesy.

    One small question: is Weatherspoons a place, or is that the guy’s name? Right now your third sentence begins: “A glimpse in the ornate mirror of a Saturday night Weatherspoons…”

    If it’s a place, it should probably read: “A glimpse in the ornate mirror of a Saturday night at Weatherspoon’s…” (added “at” and an apostrophe)

    If it’s the guy’s name, it should maybe read: “A glimpse in the ornate mirror of a Saturday night, Weatherspoons…” (comma after “night”)

    I only bring up this teensy detail because it threw me. Your writing, though, is beautiful. I can’t wait to hear how it goes when you start querying! 🙂

    • Thanks Dawn, i always appreciate your detailed comments.
      In fact the guy is intended a bit cheesy, which is part of his over-confidence, but it is also true about his dreams – i wanted to clarify that as you don’t have the chance (yet) to read on and find that out about him.
      also although his dreams become important, they’re not really what the book is “about” – in the same way that Wizard of Oz is not “about” tornadoes but without them it wouldn’t happen.

      I think there is a slight loss in translation over “saturday night Weatherspoons”. Weatherspoons is the name of a chain of pubs, which a british reader would know and recognise. Also the chain has a reputuation for being a bit down-market so that places the characters socially. And the Saturday night part is being used as an adjective to infer not just crowded but crowded with a saturday night Weatherspoons crowd. So i intentionally didnt use an “at” but it’s interesting that it stood out so maybe i should amend this – i dont want to snag this early on! Oh and i’m not sure Weatherspoons has an apostrophe but i will check – again, i dont want to put people off twice in the first paragraph 🙂

      • Ah: so in “Saturday night Weatherspoons” the words “Saturday night” are being used as an adjective? Then maybe just hyphenate them. “Saturday-night Weatherspoons.” (Yeah, I’m so under-cultured! Despite my 14 yr-old’s enthusiasm for all cute, teenage, British boy-bands.)

      • Brilliant, i will add a hyphen! Thanks Dawn 🙂

  4. (Oh, also, LOVED this post-title! :D)

  5. you had me at dreams…more detailed comment to come, just 12 more hours of company and i’m back to finish 41 and catch up on all the fun I’ve been missing out on, like for example, this 😉
    well done, brilliant, cheerio, fish and chips, scones, and all those other British words 😀

  6. *snrx* I like it. He makes me want to Gibb-slap some of that arrogance out, and there is such a thing as being a bit -too- good looking, especially if they know it…but like her, I’d give him the rope, see how long it took him to hang himself and how fun it’d be to watch. *eg*

    I like the slippery tense in there, too. “…saw her for the first time. She was as beautiful as he remembered…” It’s done perfectly, with just enough skid to be noticed, but slick enough to let it slide on through instead of sticking awkwardly. Umm. If that makes any sense, what I just said there. >.<

    As for the Weatherspoons part…I get what Dawn was saying, although I got the reference, ie "a cheesy restaurant on date night", but was thrown the tiniest bit by not having the full picture due to culture diff.

    Aaand that made absolutely no sense at all, which tells me I should gtfo the intarwebs for tonight/this morning, as it is 3:30 a.m. here, and last I checked keyboard-face wasn't a fashion statement…yet. ;p Ttyl, keep writing all that nifty stuffs, psychic-dream-dude-with-cocky-attitude-and-pretty-face will be fun to watch…*hugs and scampers*


    • I’m not sure she wants him to fail, i think she’s intrigued by him but doesn’t want him to know it yet, she doesn’t want to feed his confidence. glad you liked that first time / remembered bit, i was pleased with that *grin*
      Oh and your comments made sense even if you *were* snoozing on the keys 🙂

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