Just a beginning of a love story


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  1. #1

    Question Just a beginning of a love story

    She squinted into the distance. Only three more blocks to go she thought, hugging her gray pea coat tighter against her. The whisper of the snow swirling, colliding with the old buildings around her and the crunch of fresh snow below her feet was all that could be heard. With her bag on her shoulder, she was on her way back to her small, lonely apartment.


    The lamp posts along the entire street flickered a few times, trying their hardest to illuminate the secluded street. Two more left she reassured herself, and shivered as as she looked on. This particular road had many older buildings used as stores on the main level and apartments on the upper levels, that being where she lived. However,because tonight was Sunday, the usually busy street was rather barren, except for the pubs; which were a common business in this part of town. They helped keep the feel of what once was, making it easy to imagine horse drawn carriages carrying men with top hats and women wearing petticoats, strolling in the glory of yesteryear.


    She stepped off the curb of the sidewalk onto the cobblestone side street thinking Finally,it’s just around this corner. A gust of wind blew her long dark hair into her face, obstructing her view. As she reached up to brush it from her eyes she abruptly collided with a tall dark mass, slipped, and hit the frozen ground with an audible thud.


    “Ohhh”she groaned with her eyes squeezed shut, unwilling to get up and face whatever caused such a jarring surprise.


    “Oh,no I am so sorry!” He apologized in an unusual accent, “I really didn’t see you there, I must have been off in my own world.” Just as she looked up at him, he extended his arm to her. She just looked up at him, dumbstruck, for what seemed like ages. She looked from his pale, slender, ungloved hands, past the denim jacket with red plaid poking out both sleeves and collar, just past his scruffy face and up to the his deep brown eyes which matched his mess of ahead of hair. Using one hand to clear her face, and the other to grasp his, she stood up.


    She paused for a moment unable to speak. Weather it was the shock of falling or what was before her,she didn’t know. ”I…I.. um..” She stuttered, trying to fill the silence, and looking everywhere but his face. He smirked in amusement at her obvious nervousness, yet didn’t say a word. The snow was beginning to fall more quickly now, and the sun was long gone. The swirls of snow, lit up like fireflies by the dim streetlamp they were under, dipped in and out of the puffs of their breath.


    Please, come inside with me. I want to redeem myself for my carelessness. Let me buy you a drink” he insisted while gesturing towards the nearly empty pub across the street. She glanced from his eyes, to the pub,to her apartment down the street, back up at him, and sighed. What’s the risk?she thought, with every possibility flying through her head a mile a minute. He’s friendly, good looking…. ah, well built. I’ll have a drink, bu tit can’t be alcoholic, I won’t be putting myself at jeopardy just for the possibility of a good time…


    “Alright” she agreed, “Just one.”


    They turned towards the small, glowing pub across the street. She straightened her clothes once more but unsuccessfully tried to straighten the butterflies forming in her stomach. She took a deep breath and stepped off the curb. As they approached the door, he quickened his pace for a few steps and beat her there. Grasping the door, he pulled it opened and gestured inside “after you m'lady”. She smiled at the ground and responded with a soft “thank you”.

    ** Edited to reflect changes I've made since first posting.
    Last edited by alixer; January 19th, 2013 at 02:37 AM.

  2. #2
    Good so far, intriguing.

    I can imagine it well.

    The characterization is becoming clear already, but obviously room is there for development as the story continues.

  3. #3
    Member erusson's Avatar
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    This is a good opening, it makes me want to read on. I like "What’s the risk? she thought, with every possibility flying through her head a mile a minute. He’s friendly, good looking…. ah, well built. I’ll have a drink, but it can’t be alcoholic, I won’t be putting myself at jeopardy just for the possibility of a good time" because it makes me think she IS putting herself in jeopardy. I'd like to see how the situation spirals out of control.

    In terms of editing, you need to proofread as there are a couple of typos/spelling mistakes e.g. 'weather' instead of 'whether'.

    You could also cut out a few adjectives, e.g. "tall buildings" - 'tall' is quite a boring adjective and it doesn't really add much to the scene. You could just say "skyscrapers" instead, or something along those lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by alixer View Post
    She walked down the nearly empty city lane, squinting to see into the distance. Only three more blocks to go she thought, hugging her gray pea coat tighter against her.
    Maybe you could just start it with "She squinted into the distance"? The reader can gather from the rest that she's walking, and 'nearly empty city lane' seems a bit pointless. And it might just be me being stupid, but what do you mean by "gray pea coat"?

    The whisper of the snow swirling
    Nice alliteration, and I like the use of 'whisper'. The 'this crisp evening' part seems a little bit of a cliche though.

    I also can't help feeling like you describe the walk to the apartment in a little too much detail. I know you're setting the scene and building up to the meeting with this guy, but a little more focus on the setting would be better. You're almost there with that, it just needs a little more editing.

    As she reached up to brush it from her eyes she abruptly collided with a tall dark mass, slipped, and hit the frozen ground with an audible thud.
    This is a really well-crafted sentence. I like the rhythm of it and you can tell the style/tone of the novel (assuming it's a novel).

    “Oh, no I am so sorry!” He apologized in the local accent, “I really didn't see you there, I must have been off in my own world.” Just as she looked up at him, he extended his arm to her. She just gazed up at him, dumbstruck, for what seemed like ages. She looked from his pale, slender, ungloved hands, past the denim jacket with red plaid poking out both sleeves and collar, just past his scruffy face and up to the his deep brown eyes which matched his mess of ahead of hair. Using one hand to clear her face, and the other tog rasp his, she stood up.
    I think you go into the description of him a little too quickly. She doesn't really have time to stare at him - if a girl did that, then the guy probably wouldn't ask her out for a drink because they'd be too weirded out Maybe just put a little description in now, e.g. the eyes (always a good thing to focus on if you want to make female readers' hearts flutter), and then expand on it throughout the upcoming scene in the pub.

    Also, I don't really understand why she's smirking at the end?

    In conclusion, it's really good! I hope you put up more, I'm really interested to see how it pans out. Have you written any more yet or are you just starting out on it?
    Everyone should create. You should do something, then sit back and say, "I did that." - Ricky Gervais
    ~*~
    I'm all for the scissors. I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil. - Truman Capote

  4. #4
    Wow, thanks for the comments! As of now, this is all that I have on it-- and it's my first actual attempt at something that's not related to school work. I'm not so sure how to do the whole quoting thing on here, but a peacoat is just a type of coat like this one.

    As for right now, I'm not planning a disastrous evening for these two. I'm trying to characterize the girl as someone who is just cautious. She's an international student in a country where a city isn't just skyscrapers, but with historic buildings as well. I was trying to portray that sense of a city rather than a times-square type place, you know?

    My main struggle at the moment is deciding on names for these two any recommendations on how to pick a good name? Oh, and the smirk would be because the part with him opening the door all gentlemanly slightly amused her-- I'll try to clear that up. Thanks!

  5. #5
    Member erusson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alixer View Post
    I'm not so sure how to do the whole quoting thing on here, but a peacoat is just a type of coat like this one.
    That's a very nice coat. Maybe just call it a jacket or a blazer or something though, since not everyone will know what you mean by that (if I was describing that coat to my friends I would probs have called it a double-breasted jacket). You also don't really need to describe clothes in great detail unless they reveal something about the character, except for in chick-lit/sex-and-shopping novels where designers etc are almost part of the story. It might work in romance as well but it depends how chick-lit you're going with this.

    To "quote" people on here you either click "Reply with quote" at the bottom of someone's post or click the speech bubble in the reply box. There's probs an FAQ on here for all that sort of stuff anyway.

    Maybe use a different word at the end - "Smirk" to me suggests that she's not a very nice person or that she doesn't really like him, and nothing else in the story makes me think either of those things.

    I have to admit I'm a little disappointed that she's 'just being cautious' - you really need to follow up the whole 'not putting myself in jeopardy' part, either by making it a disastrous evening or revealing later on that something has happened to her in the past that makes her cautious now. (Most women, including myself, are a bit silly and would take an alcoholic drink without thinking about the repercussions.)

    Pfft names. I hate choosing names lol. Some jump right out at you and others really need some thinking about. The female character is obviously quite a girly girl, so nothing that could also be a man's name e.g. Sam, unless you want to change it to "Sammy" or something like that. I have a similar character in a novel I'm about halfway through and I called her "Louise". I think she started out as "Sarah".

    Since the male character is quite gentlemanly maybe he should have quite a posh name, and not really go by a nickname, e.g. William instead of Will/Bill, James instead of Jamie/Jim.

    As I said, I'm very interested in reading more!
    Everyone should create. You should do something, then sit back and say, "I did that." - Ricky Gervais
    ~*~
    I'm all for the scissors. I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil. - Truman Capote

  6. #6
    Here's the next installment. Sorry it took so long!

    As soon as she stepped across the threshold of the door, she was greeted by the pub's warm air. Looking about, she spotted a table across the little room and began to head for it. The pub was empty, save the bartender who was behind the bar, drying off the remaining glasses from an afternoon of watching football.


    “Wait.” he said, putting his handon her shoulder.


    Startled, she turned her head back to look at him and replied “yes?” in a slightly confused manner.


    “I'll grab us something from the bar,what would you like?” He asked, slowly removing his hand from hershoulder.


    “Um... how about a cranberry juice?”she suggested.


    “Alright, I'll meet you over at thetable.”


    Upon choosing a destination, she removed her jacket and placed it on the back of the chair, and slid up into the tall seat, so tall, in fact, that her feet couldn't even touch the ground. Before she hooked her messenger bag on one of the sides of the chair, she grabbed her cellphone from the inside pocket to check the time. “9:30 PM”, it read, then she slid it back into her sweater pocket for easy access. Looking back up, she saw him coming back with her juice, and a drink for himself.

    “Hey, thank you”, she said, smiling as he set the drinks down.


    “No problem” he replied warmly. After setting down his drink, he unzipped his coat and laid it on theback of the chair in the same fashion she did. Leaning back in hischair, drink in hand, he asked “So, what's your name?”


    “My name is Maddie Foster”, she replied, maintaining eye contact “and yours?”.


    “My name's Oliver Fellows. You're not from around here, are you?” he inquired, taking a sip of his drink. The warm atmosphere of the pub, and Oliver's friendly pose made her more likely to relax and have a friendly conversation. Being in a new place without any friends is trying on the social skills, of which she does not have a large amount.


    “How ever could you tell?” she asked in amusement. “I'm here for a semester at St. Mary's University. And I'd take it you're from here?”


    He shrugged. “Not originally, but this is my home now. I came down here from Edinburgh when I was 10,which is why I talk like this,” he replied, jokingly emphasizing the last few words.


    Laughing, she replied, “I know what it's like, though I still can't acknowledge the fact that I have an accent, even though it's been a while since I've heard anyone from the US. So what's the day to day life of Oliver?”


    “A little of this, a little of that” he answered, smiling. He took another sip of his drink and continued “I work in an office most of the time.”


    At that moment Maddie's phone went off in her pocket. Who could that be? She thought, it's only.. “10 o'clock?!” she said, surprised. “Well, crap. I wasn't planning on being out this late. I set an alarm, so that I don't stay up too late.”


    He gave her an incredulous look “Why?”


    “Long commute, and I like to sleep”. She smiled and shrugged, then furrowed her eyebrows in thought. I really don't want to blow this,he's the first decent guy I've met here.


    “Hey, if you need to go, that's alright.” Oliver interrupted her thoughts. “I'm sure I'll see you again.”


    “I'm sure” She replied with a smile, and hopped off the chair. Throwing her coat, gloves, scarf and bag on took far longer than Oliver's simple jacket. Pulling the last glove on she looked up to a bemused Oliver looking down to her. “What?” she questioned in mock horror“I like to be warm.”


    “Nothing,” he chuckled, and started toward the door


    They bid goodnight to the bartender and stepped out in to the still brisk night. Maddie turned to say goodnight and was met with a napkin with the pub's name printed on it. Turning it over she saw a phone number and a message scrawled beneath. She looked up only to see him about 10 meters away already. “Goodnight Oliver!” Maddie called after him.


    Oliver stopped, turned around and replied “Goodnight Maddie” with a wave.
    Last edited by alixer; January 12th, 2013 at 05:19 AM.

  7. #7
    Member erusson's Avatar
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    Still enjoying reading it, but there needs to be some sort of problem to keep me enjoying it - the key to storytelling is obstacles! It can't just be a smooth ride from here until they get married. Maybe reveal at the end of this installment that she's already engaged to someone, or something like that? And then she can leave the pub all worried, with him thinking everything's going great. You also need to proofread this as you've neglected the spacebar between several words

    Quote Originally Posted by alixer View Post
    Looking about, she spotted a table across the little room and began to head for it. The pub was empty
    If it was empty, she wouldn't 'spot' a table. I'd say mention that it's empty first.

    and slid up into the tall seat, so tall, in fact, that her feet couldn't even touch the ground.
    Haha, this is what happens to me every time I sit on a barstool, or a taller-than-average seat. It made me giggle. Us poor short women.

    “No problem” he replied warmly. After setting down his drink, he unzipped his coat and laid it on theback of the chair in the same fashion she did. Leaning back in hischair, drink in hand, he asked “So, what's your name?”
    I would say now would be the moment to describe him in more detail, instead of in your earlier installment. Instead, you've focused a little too much on routine actions, e.g. unzipping his coat, leaning back in his chair, etc. He can still do all these things but they should reveal something about his character.

    The warm atmosphere of the pub
    Why does it have a warm atmosphere if it's empty? Maybe mention an upbeat song on the jukebox or something to back this up.

    “10 o'clock?!” she said, surprised.
    She can't be that surprised; she saw that it was 9.30 not long ago!

    “Hey, if you need to go, that's alright.” Oliver interrupted her thoughts. “I'm sure I'll see you again.”
    Nice bit of showing and not telling. Rather than him asking outright for her number or something. I like that he gives her his number as well, giving her a bit of power. Plus you could play with this later - you could have her fretting over when she should call him etc, for a bit of comedy.

    “What?” she questioned in mock horror“I like to be warm.”
    I see what you're trying to do, but I think "horror" is probably the wrong word.

    I'm sorry if this all makes it sound like I don't like it, because I really do, a lot! I always prefer receiving constructive criticism over praise, though, so I'm just trying to be helpful keep the installments coming! xx
    Everyone should create. You should do something, then sit back and say, "I did that." - Ricky Gervais
    ~*~
    I'm all for the scissors. I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil. - Truman Capote

  8. #8
    Don't be sorry for the criticism, this is why I'm here!

    When copy/pasting the sections to here from the document that they're saved it, it just removes spaces periodically . I thought I caught them all, but I'll give it another once-over.

    You're right about adding some sort of conflict, what's the fun without it? This was more of a rough draft where I just sort of wrote it without too much thought. I'll go back and fine tune it using your advice. Word choice isn't my strong point haha. Anyways, thanks!

  9. #9
    Member erusson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alixer View Post
    When copy/pasting the sections to here from the document that they're saved it, it just removes spaces periodically
    That's irritating. I really don't understand technology sometimes.

    Anyways, thanks!
    You're welcome! x
    Everyone should create. You should do something, then sit back and say, "I did that." - Ricky Gervais
    ~*~
    I'm all for the scissors. I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil. - Truman Capote

  10. #10
    What do you think about changing point of view? Like, every so often switching between his and hers?

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