Going Out Walking Chapter 1


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  1. #1

    Going Out Walking Chapter 1

    This is the first chapter of a story I'm currently writing. So far, seven chapters have been completed, and I intend for this work to run for a total of maybe 10-12 chapters total. I am only posting the first chapter here for no so as not to clutter up these forums more than I already have. If anyone would like to continue reading, please say so in the forum or send me a private message. Thank you


    Going Out Walking


    Chapter 1. Dinner at Luigi's

    Saturday evenings at Luigi’s typically meant a packed establishment, and tonight was no exception. The jovial, generic tunes playing on the stereo were drowned out by a sea of murmurs, laughter, and clanking of silverware. One source of this festive din was a group of five men. Their ages ranged from twenty-five to thirty-five, and in spite of their cheerful behavior, each had that all-too-familiar sensation in modern society of a hostile world beating down on them. In between mouthfuls of pasta, one man spoke to another.

    “Like I was tellin’ Steve, ya really outdone yourself, Lou. I’d no idea this place existed. Now ‘f only I was the one supplyin’ the liquor here, I’d be a happy camper!”

    Charles Walker, the youngest of the entourage, laughed at his own joke and took another swig of beer. The pudgy, bespectacled man sitting next to him nodded with noticeable shakiness. He was not accustomed to these social gatherings as much as Charles was.

    “Y-yeah, Lou! And it’s great to see you again. How long’s it been since we’ve gotten together?”

    The addressed gentleman sat silently, nursing his drink and smiling to himself. He was pale as a ghost and his body lookedas the newspapers would call it nowadays—anorexic. He coughed lightly into his shirt sleeve before replying.

    “It’s my pleasure, Chuck. Just promise me the drinks at your place’ll be on the house next time I stop by. Pretty sure that was four years ago, Steve. Remember the bachelor party we threw for Luke?”

    Louis realized too late it wasn’t the best idea to mention Luke’s marriage. A scruffy-looking fellow seated adjacent to Lou turned his head. Luke was an enigma for sure. His attire consisted of a torn denim jacket, a pair of wrinkled, mud-encrusted jeans, and a set of leather boots falling apart at the seams. The wild jungle that was his hair sprung forth from the inside of a Braves cap. Luigi’s wasn’t exactly the classiest place in town to have a meal, but it took all of Louis’s charm and persuasion to keep Luke and the group’s final member, Mitchell, from being thrown out just for how they dressed.

    “It’s alright, Lou. You didn’t mean nothin’ by it. Caroline wouldn’t want me to keep worryin’ bout her. I’m kinda glad she died before she could see how much of a loser I am.”

    Always the leader of the pack, Louis put an arm on his friend’s shoulder as a protective, nurturing gesture.

    “Oh, c’mon, buddy, don’t go sayin’ stuff like that. Those guys at the construction company didn’t know what they were missin’ when they laid ya off. You’ll find another place that’ll take ya.”

    “Not with my back the way it is.

    “Believe me, you’ll run into some money in no time, bad back or not. Now stop worryin’ and eat. Your food’s gittin' cold.”

    A frantic interjection shattered the conversation.

    “So why the hell’d ya get us together again, Lou? People don’t come out of the blue and do stuff like this without wanting some kinda favor.”

    Mitchell could best be described as a loose cannon. Like Luke, he’d come to this reunion in dressed shabbily, but his erratic behavior put him on a different playing field. Throughout the meal he’d been looking over his shoulder like the boogeyman was after him, and he kept scratching his neck, chest, and shoulders like he’d come down with a bad case of poison ivy.

    “I’d much rather save talkin about that till we’ve all had our fill, Mitchell...” Louis said sternly, like an angry parent scolding a child.

    “Fuck that, man! You know how many lines of blow I’d be snortin right now if I wasn’t here?!”

    By now Mitchell’s outbursts were drawing the attention of waiters and other diners. Louis reached across the table, gripping his friend firmly by the wrist.

    “Look at me, Mitchell, if you relax and keep your voice down, I promise you’ll have as much blow as you could ever want.”

    That seemed to work, as the unstable addict sat back in his chair and shut up, though his pupils dilated tenfold at the promise of limitless euphoria in the form of his favorite white, powdery substance.

    “Actually, Lou, I think he’s got a point for once,” Charles blurted between mouthfuls. He swallowed his food before continuing. “I’m stuffed, and I’d really like ta know what made ya decide to do this all of a sudden.”

    “He’s right,” Steven concurred. “I took the night off from the office just to be here y’know.”

    Louis looked down at the floor for a moment, contemplating his options before returning his gaze to his companions.

    “Are you finished too, Luke.”

    A loud belch signified his answer to the affirmative.

    “Alrighty. I’ll ask for the check and we’ll be on our way. I don’t wanna talk about it here in public.”

  2. #2
    Hi Ethan, too many characters, too much info-dropping for page 1. Consider starting with, Saturday evening and Luigi's was packed, describe briefly the 'mix' of those sitting at the table without putting names to them.

    Start the dialogue with the last three lines... having two characters on their own you don't have to award dialogue tags identifying the speaker.

    Calling Charles - Chuck and Louis - Lou when there's a Luke at the table adds to the chaos.

    One more character would be okay, with one line of info-dropping as the two are departing, consider
    “ Hey you going already - So why the hell’d ya get us together again, Lou? People don’t come out of the blue and do stuff like this without wanting some kinda favor.”

    There's other stuff, like telling not showing, but this needs sorting first.

    Hopes this helps,

    Just saying, qwerty

  3. #3
    Member hvysmker's Avatar
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    Chapter 1. Dinner at Luigi's
    Saturday evenings at Luigi’s typically meant a packed establishment, and tonight was no exception. The jovial, generic tunes playing on the stereo were drowned out by a sea of murmurs, laughter, and clanking of silverware.
    *** I quit drinking 40 years ago. Back then such “establishments” didn’t generally give free music, preferring a profit from juke boxes. Also, I think you should tell us what kind of “establishment”. All the better to form a mental picture.

    One source of this festive din was a group of five men. Their ages ranged from twenty-five to thirty-five, and in spite of their cheerful behavior, each had that all-too-familiar sensation in modern society of a hostile world beating down on them. In between mouthfuls of pasta, one man spoke to another.

    “Like I was tellin’ Steve, ya really outdone yourself, Lou. I’d no idea this place existed. Now ‘f only I was the one supplyin’ the liquor here, I’d be a happy camper!”

    Charles Walker, the youngest of the entourage, laughed at his own joke and took another swig of beer. The pudgy, bespectacled man sitting next to him nodded with noticeable shakiness. He was not accustomed to these social gatherings as much as Charles was.

    “Y-yeah, Lou! And it’s great to see you again. How long’s it been since we’ve gotten together?”
    *** Who said this? It sounds like Charlie, but with five at the table I’m no sure.

    The addressed gentleman sat silently, nursing his drink and smiling to himself. He was pale as a ghost and his body looked—as the newspapers would call it nowadays—anorexic. He coughed lightly into his shirt sleeve before replying.

    “It’s my pleasure, Chuck. Just promise me the drinks at your place’ll be on the house next time I stop by. Pretty sure that was four years ago, Steve. Remember the bachelor party we threw for Luke?”

    Louis realized too late it wasn’t the best idea to mention Luke’s marriage. A scruffy-looking fellow seated adjacent to Lou turned his head. Luke was an enigma for sure. His attire consisted of a torn denim jacket, a pair of wrinkled, mud-encrusted jeans, and a set of leather boots falling apart at the seams. The wild jungle that was his hair sprung forth from the inside of a Braves cap. Luigi’s wasn’t exactly the classiest place in town to have a meal, but it took all of Louis’s charm and persuasion to keep Luke and the group’s final member, Mitchell, from being thrown out just for how they dressed.

    “It’s alright, Lou. You didn’t mean nothin’ by it. Caroline wouldn’t want me to keep worryin’ bout her. I’m kinda glad she died before she could see how much of a loser I am.”
    *** Although this sounds like Luke, I’m not positive. With five at te table, you need either more speech tags or differences in dialogues and idioms, especially the first time on speaks. Luke might, for example, use “man” in every sentence,but would still have to be identified the first time he speaks.

    Always the leader of the pack, Louis put an arm on his friend’s shoulder as a protective, nurturing gesture.

    “Oh, c’mon, buddy, don’t go sayin’ stuff like that. Those guys at the construction company didn’t know what they were missin’ when they laid ya off. You’ll find another place that’ll take ya.”

    “Not with my back the way it is.”

    “Believe me, you’ll run into some money in no time, bad back or not. Now stop worryin’ and eat. Your food’s gittin' cold.”

    A frantic interjection shattered the conversation.

    “So why the hell’d ya get us together again, Lou? People don’t come out of the blue and do stuff like this without wanting some kinda favor.”

    Mitchell could best be described as a loose cannon.
    *** Again, I’m not sure that was Mitchell speaking.

    Like Luke, he’d come to this reunion in dressed shabbily, but his erratic behavior put him on a different playing field. Throughout the meal he’d been looking over his shoulder like the boogeyman was after him, and he kept scratching his neck, chest, and shoulders like he’d come down with a bad case of poison ivy.

    “I’d much rather save talkin’ about that till we’ve all had our fill, Mitchell...” Louis said sternly, like an angry parent scolding a child.

    “Fuck that, man! You know how many lines of blow I’d be snortin’ right now if I wasn’t here?!”

    By now Mitchell’s outbursts were drawing the attention of waiters and other diners. Louis reached across the table, gripping his friend firmly by the wrist.

    “Look at me, Mitchell, if you relax and keep your voice down, I promise you’ll have as much blow as you could ever want.”

    That seemed to work, as the unstable addict sat back in his chair and shut up, though his pupils dilated tenfold at the promise of limitless euphoria in the form of his favorite white, powdery substance.

    “Actually, Lou, I think he’s got a point for once,” Charles blurted between mouthfuls. He swallowed his food before continuing. “I’m stuffed, and I’d really like ta know what made ya decide to do this all of a sudden.”

    “He’s right,” Steven concurred. “I took the night off from the office just to be here y’know.”

    Louis looked down at the floor for a moment, contemplating his options before returning his gaze to his companions.

    “Are you finished too, Luke.”

    A loud belch signified his answer to the affirmative.

    “Alrighty. I’ll ask for the check and we’ll be on our way. I don’t wanna talk about it here in public.”

    *** Very well written with good descriptions, but the difficulty of tyeing speech to character made it hard for me to read. Perhaps you could work more action in between character descriptions? For example, you don’t have to describe them in such detail, one after the other. Tell a little, enough to set each from the other, then show the rest later.

    As for Mitchell:
    That seemed to work, as the unstable addict sat back in his chair and shut up, though his pupils dilated tenfold at the promise of limitless euphoria in the form of his favorite white, powdery substance. ( Drop everything after “shut up”?) The rest can be shown later.

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