the_silver_sun (the_silver_sun) wrote in writers_guild,

Urban fantasy set in Bradford, West Yorkshire, about psychics and werewolves.

Okay, this is the first 400 words or so of what I've got for my first chapter, and I wondered if anybody would like to give their opinion on whether the start is engaging enough to make them want to read more.

Placing my hands on the picture frame I closed my eyes and tried to look into its past. Something that would have been a lot easier, I thought irritably, if the valuer from the auction house wasn't standing far too close to me and if he weren't wearing the stinkiest aftershave ever.

I opened my eyes again and turned to him, before putting on my best 'I'm going to be professional about this voice' and said, "I really do need slightly more room to work, Mr Collins."

He nodded and stepped back. The aftershave lingered, but it was a bit more bearable, so I turned my attention back to the large painting in a gilt frame that was currently occupying most of the table top in the reading room. Which was both a stupid name for the place and an apt one too, as while it didn't have any books in it, it was where we carried out the readings on any larger objects that were brought in or ones where the client wanted a bit more privacy. Us being the people who work at Carroll, Sahota and Binns Licensed Psychic Investigators. Well kind of, I was the most junior member and as yet my name, Nathan Hale, wasn't there on the letter heads, but I had my hopes that one day it might.

The box-like bull with stumpy legs stared at me from the painting with a boss-eyed expression. It was by Thomas Weaver wannabe painter by all accounts, but whether it was a bad forgery or something done in the tradition of by the apparently now collectable Yorkshire artist Hubert Thwaites was the question. Not that I'd ever heard of him or Thomas Weaver before Mr Collins had arrived. To be honest I couldn't see the attraction of the cube-like livestock who all apparently looked liked they'd got a case of lazy eye. I wouldn't have wanted one in my house, not that my house was the kind of place you'd hang expensive old paintings anyway. There was a reason I referred to it as the pit to all my friends.

Not that critiquing the paintings artistic merits or lack of was my job, that was for whoever was going to do the write up for the auction house catalogue. No, I was there to provide provenance by the only means available Collins Auction Houses at such short notice - a psychic historical reading. Lucky me, just how I wanted to spend my Friday evening. Not.

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I loved the first sentence - definitely wanted to continue!

YMMV, but I tend to find stuffing in details like the names of companies a bit off-putting - if the name of the companies are important, it'll come out naturally, but putting it in at this early stage interrupts the flow. Same goes for not being a partner yet, hoping that it would be - same effect could be achieved by mentioning that character was ordered to go because their boss had better things to do on a Friday!

There were a couple of other bits I wondered if it was absolutely necessary, but even with those small points - yeah, I'd want to read more!

One thing I did feel was missing was WHY it's a short notice - if the character was wondering what was causing the short notice, why such a rush in an industry not noted for rush jobs (I assume that's a plot point?) then that would show that it was going to be answered, and would also pull me in even more!
Thank you for reading through. I think I might move the company name slightly later, as there is a point where it can get mentioned when a person arrives just after he has locked up and asked him whether he's Carroll or Binns?

The rush job part does make it seem like it would be a plot point and it really was just a reason for him to be working late. I think I'll change it him having agreed to do some overtime as he needs the money to get his car fixed. The needing more money part if why he takes on a case out side of work which is the main plot, and is the person who talks to him after he's just locked up.
Sounds good :-) let me know when you finish it !
I might be some time before it is finished as I'm planning on it being a full length book, about 75k length or so. I'll post bits of it here as I write, but my intention is one day get it to a publishable state, so I know I'm not going to be able to post it in full.

If you'd like to read more and maybe give an opinion on it, I could PM you the chapters as they are done.