The second draft

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Thank you for the feedback on my first draft. I have reflected on the comments and here is the second version. Don’t worry, I won’t do this for every version of every scene!

However, I would still be grateful for comments and some might like to see how previous comments have help me to develop the scene.

James Pemberton opened the battered, old door and stepped inside. The building’s odour filled his nostrils. He hated it. He had come to associate it with fear. He was scared of being caught and terrified of the consequences. Though the building frightened him, this was the easy part. It was what came afterwards that always made the bile rise in his throat.

He climbed upstairs to the room where his transformation would take place. He had lost count of the times had had been here. He prayed today’s visit would be the last. As he approached the room, its door flew open and a well-built man strode towards him. James raised his hands in self-defence but the man ignored him and rushed down the stairs. James steadied himself and lowered his hands.

‘It’s alright,’ he reassured himself, ‘nothing bad is going to happen.’ He walked towards the door and entered, ready for his final act.

Three hours later, James retraced his steps a different man. He was no longer youthful and dark haired. Now, he was middle-aged and grey. In just three hours he had aged over thirty years. His new beard and moustache irritated his face. His new glasses pinched his nose and made him feel sick.

‘Concentrate on the money,’ he reminded himself, ‘it is a small amount of suffering for such a large reward.’

He set off towards the bank, his panic growing with each step.

He looked around at the people he passed. What if they were watching him? What if they knew? Just one slip over the previous months and this would be his last day of freedom. His brain screamed as every sense demanded attention. Everything startled him. Twitching curtains, a distant shout, a passing policeman. Did they mean anything? Was he safe, or walking into a trap? He wouldn’t know until today was over. Fraud is a small word but a big crime.

As he finally reached the steps leading to the bank his heart was racing, he could feel cold sweat running down his back. His stomach churned. The deal he had spent so long negotiating would be agreed today. He would soon be wealthy. He began the climb.

It took a huge effort. He expected each step up to be his last. At the top, he looked around, anticipating police running towards him, but there were none.

‘You have come this far,’ he told himself, ‘, you need to finish the job. There is no other way.’

Had he known the consequences of this final visit, he would have turned and walked away, but he did not.

James Pemberton made a decision which would change his life and those of many others.

He went into the bank.

 

photo credit: ell brown via photopin cc

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First draft of opening scene

OK, this is really scary! This is the first draft of my opener for my first novel and it’s the first post of my new blog – that really is a whole lot of firsts.

It’s only short but I would like to know what you think. The book is set in Victorian England and centres around the impact of a financial disaster for a group of young adults. My intention is that it is a steampunk-inspired thriller but my characters may have other ideas!

Here it is:

James Pemberton opened the battered, old door and stepped inside. He prayed this would be his final visit.

Three hours later, he returned a different man. He was no longer youthful and dark haired. Now, he was middle-aged and grey. In just three hours he had aged over thirty years. His new beard and moustache irritated his face. His new glasses pinched his nose and made him feel sick. He considered that the money he would soon receive would more than compensate for his suffering.

As before, he walked to the bank and climbed the steps. Today, the deal he had spent so long negotiating would be agreed.

He heard a shout behind him and swung around, expecting to see police running towards him, but none were there.

James understood his actions were technically fraud. He reminded himself he had no choice and continued to climb.

Had he known the consequences of this final visit, he would have turned and walked away, but he did not.

He paused at the top of the steps then strode into the bank.