I’m annoyed. Why you might ask? Well it’s because I’m sure that in a previous WIPpet Wednesday post I shared an excerpt from Reunion where my MC Anna is telling her friends about her messy break up. But I can’t find it anywhere. I’ve searched on my blog about 3 times and it’s nowhere. Grrr.
Anyway the reason I wanted it was to have it to refer to today because I’ve amended the beginning of Reunion to make it more gripping from the very first line – I hope. Someone told me they’d read my novel The Inheritance, which I published a few weeks ago, and enjoyed it but said it took a while to get going and they thought it needed to grip the reader from the beginning.
It’s funny cos I’d read the same advice in a general post on a writer’s blog (can’t remember which one), that you need to grab the reader’s attention from the very beginning. Then I had a flash of inspiration as to how I could make the beginning of Reunion much more gripping.
So here’s my attempt. This is the new beginning of Reunion. Anna and her boyfriend Elliot are having a blazing row. She suspects him of cheating on her. If you recognise any of the dialogue, that’s because I’ve recycled it from a flashback Anna has later in the story and it was what I shared in the WIPpet Wednesday post I just can’t find.
As always, comments are welcome – though I guess getting feedback is the whole reason we do WIPpet Wednesday, isn’t it? Anyway here’s 13 paragraphs from chapter one as it’s 2013. Enjoy!
Anna glared at Elliot standing across the table from her, willing him to be struck down by a celestial power or something, anything to punish him for what he’d done.
‘I’ve had enough of your excuses,’ she yelled at him. ‘I know the truth and I don’t want to hear any more lies.’
‘Which idiot have you been listening to, Anna?’ he replied equally loudly as they fought it out in the kitchen, perilously close to the knives which Anna was tempted to throw at him.
‘Oh I don’t know, about a dozen? Maybe two dozen? Did you really think I’d never find out? Who is she anyway, this model? No wait; don’t tell me, she’s some bimbo who’s conveniently only in it for the sex!’
‘Look I told you, Anna, I’m not having an affair! You’ve got to trust me.’
‘Not having an affair. Hmmm. That’s what you said three months ago when I first told you what people had been saying. And I stupidly chose to believe you. But since then more and more people, friends and acquaintances, have been telling me what you’ve been getting up to on those “research” trips to London.’
‘They’re wrong, Anna, they’re wrong. Why would I ever want sex with Petra… ’ Elliot trailed off realising his mistake.
‘Oh so that’s her name is it? I’ll take that as a confession, shall I? It’s obviously all I’m going to get after three years. Three years of my life wasted!’ The tears that had been threatening to pour began to run down Anna’s face. She sobbed a harsh strangulated sound and through the haze of tears saw Elliot coming towards her. ‘No!’ she yelled at him. ‘Don’t touch me! Just get out! I don’t need to hear any more excuses.’
He backed off and turned to leave the kitchen.
‘I want you out by tonight,’ Anna heard herself say in a shaky voice. ‘And all your stuff.’
‘Where am I supposed to go?’ he asked turning round. ‘You could at least give me a day to get my stuff out.’
‘I don’t care where you go. And as for giving you a day to sort your stuff out, why should I after the way you’ve treated me? Now get out!’
He scowled at her as he left the room, and for the first time Anna felt as though she were seeing the true Elliot. The person she thought she’d known had been almost like a figment of her imagination.
If you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, simply share an excerpt from whatever you’re up to writing-wise and post on your blog. The only rule is it has to correlate to the date. Then add your name to this linky. Thanks to the lovely K. L. Schwengel for hosting.