So here it is. It’s been a long time coming, and this is just a draft, but below are the first few paragraphs of my supernatural angst-filled detective story.
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“Laz?” A pause, “I’ve found something.”
There was a long silence as Shayne Lazlo slowly opened her eyes. Her room was dark and cold – the stove had burned out hours ago – and she could feel the wind rocking her little boat against the bank. Dawn was still a long way off and the night air was bitingly crisp. Where she held the ancient phone to her ear she could feel her skin prickle against the chill, and so wriggled her way down beneath the layers of covers on the narrow bunk.
“Laz?” Green asked again, his voice crackling down the phone. She tugged at the zip to an old sleeping bag which formed the core of her cocoon and grunted something unintelligible.
“I’m at the dig,” Green tried again, “And I’ve found something that I have to get out of here. Come and get me.”
“How can you possibly have found anything? It’s still dark out.” Shayne sniffed and tried to tuck a woolen blanket that had escaped to the foot of the bed around her nylon shell.
“I didn’t want Roman to know what I was digging. I need you to come and pick me up.”
Tentatively, Lazlo glanced at the time on her phone. The bright blue of the display burned the numbers 04 03 on to her retina and she sighed, pulling the final layer – a large feather duvet – up and over her head.
“I can’t,” she tried to keep the smile from her voice, “I don’t have any petrol in the Figaro.”
“That’s fine – it’s not big enough anyway.”
“Then how could I come and pick you up?”
“Take the Defender.”
“It hasn’t passed an MOT in five years and I haven’t paid road tax on it in six. Don’t be stupid.”
“So what? It still drives, doesn’t it? You had the engine going last week.”
“Green,” her voice grew strained, “I am not driving across town at four in the morning, in a totally illegal car, to help you steal something from my boyfriend’s dig site.”
“When you say it like that, of course it sounds bad. Look, no one will be out scanning for illegal cars at this time in the morning, and the traffic will be none existant. Besides, once I’ve had a proper look at this thing, I’ll put it back, pretend it’s never been gone and let Roman draw his own conclusions from it. I just need you to come and get me now.”
“Why me? Why not Roger? He has a van.”
“You’re the only one I can trust.”
Shayne’s face folded involuntarily into a grimace and she sighed, “If anyone asks what I’m doing, I’m going to tell them that you threatened to kill my best friend if I didn’t do as you said.”
“Deal.” The line went dead and Lazlo closed her eyes.
Tentatively, she reached an arm out of the sleeping bag and began to fish around on the floor beside her. Slowly, so as not to disturb her stack of blankets, she drew a large woolen sweatshirt and a pair of dirty jeans into the bed.
Fumbling in the dark, she managed to extract the previous day’s underwear from what seemed to be a complicated mass of legs and tossed it across the room. Then, she pulled on both the jumper and the trousers over her pyjamas. With one last, bitter glance at the phone, she tossed her covers aside and stood, grabbing her glasses as she did so.
The boat was so cold that her lenses fogged up instantly due to the heat from her face and she swore loudly at Green, promising herself that she would never again let him talk her into something so utterly ridiculous. Still, she made her way to the back of the boat, slipped her feet into a pair of icy Wellington boots and a stiff woolen duffel coat, then hopped up onto the bank.

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My main concerns:

Is it an interesting enough beginning? Do I reveal too much at once? Are there too many references to other characters the reader hasn’t met yet? Is the writing rubbish because I’m trying to shove a year of planning into a few simple sentences?

In short, lots of concerns. If any are justified, please let me know. I really want to make this story something special. Shayne Lazlo is my absolute hero – I love her – so I want to do her justice. Any helpful tips would be gratefully received.

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