Hello everyone! I’ve long held a passion to write a novel and have a good idea for a crime story.
However, I’ve never tried to get anything down on paper before and don’t have a great deal of spare time and so learning the craft has been something that I’ve struggled to get going with.
However, the urge to write has suddenly become quite strong and so I thought I’d have a go.
Here’s the very first draft of something I’ve written this morning…a short opening to my (hopefully) first novel. Yes, it’s raw and needs padding out, so please give me some brutal criticism in how I can improve.
Jane Morrison thought that life simply could not get any better. As she strolled, arm-in-arm through Annesley Wood with her fiance, she thought excitedly about the day in April when they were to be married. Although there was still so much to do before then, Jane enjoyed the little butterflies that fluttered around her tummy when she thought about saying "I will" at the alter in eight months time. Now, it was late August and the sun shone through the green canopy of the wood, bathing the ground in a soft yellow glow. The air was still a tad cold, however and so Jane pressed herself into Josh to gain some small bit of warmth from his body, enjoying the closeness between them.
As they both strolled along the narrow, dirt path that wound through the forest, the couple's German Shepherd dog, Blade came trotting towards them, a long stick clamped gently between his powerful jaws. As Blade reached them, he dropped the stick at their feet and for a moment, Jane was annoyed as Josh broke free of their embrace, reached down and picked the stick up from the dusty ground.
"Sit!", he commanded and Blade obeyed without question, sitting down on his hind legs, eyes fixed upon the makeshift toy in his masters hand. A small excited yelp escaped from the powerful dog, as Josh moved his hand back to throw the stick along the path once more for Blade to chase. Blade bounded off in pursuit as Josh launched the stick ahead, barking loudly as he disappeared down the far side of a small hill up ahead.
"You know that you can get real toys for Blade to chase don't you Josh?" Jane informed him. "That stick could inflict a serious injury."
"He loves it!", complained Josh. "Why pay for a silly plastic toy, when I can just pick one up off of the ground here? Anyway, think of the money I'm saving. You can have an extra guest at the wedding."
"Or we'll have to cancel the wedding altogether when the vets bill comes in," Jane countered, a small grin forming as she quickly manoeuvred herself in front of Josh so that he had to stop abruptly. Jane snaked her arms up around the back of Josh's head and pulled him close to her, kissing him passionately. Jane didn't mind public shows of affection and anyway, there was nobody else around. Josh returned her sponateneous act with equal measure, moving his strong arms around her back. Jane felt the passion within her increase as Josh moved a hand to her bottom and squeezed a buttock gently. Life could not be better.
From behind her, Jane was aware of Blade returning from his short stick-chase. Although her eyes were closed, enjoying the intensity of the moment she'd initiated, she sensed Blade at their side and heard the soft thump of the retrieved stick hitting the ground as Blade dropped it at their feet. Josh released his grip, breaking away from their kiss gently, causing Jane to open her eyes once more, the sudden transition between darkness and light dazzling for a second or two. When the haziness had cleared, she looked once more upon Josh's face. As she refocused, Jane became aware that something wasn't right. Blade was barking excitedly at their side, expectantly waiting for Josh to throw the stick once more. But Josh was stood still, staring down, his eyes wide open, unwavering, his face suddenly pale.
Jane followed his gaze down to where the stick lay on the dust-covered ground and as she did so, a piercing, uncontrollable scream escaped from her mouth. Blade barked more fiercely now. But on the ground at their feet, instead of the nondescript stick there lay a decomposing, severed human arm.