Welcome to my weekly blog comedy series – The Writing Club.
This series follows the emotional highs and lows of a local writing club, who meet regularly at Alfie’s Coffee Shop.
The writers took their places at the table, whilst Alfie, the owner of the coffee shop, brought over a tray of steaming hot drinks.
Alfie knew the writers regular drink orders without having to ask them. He often wondered whether the writers drink preferences said something about them as individuals.
- Stacey, the horror writer preferred her coffee to be overpowering and dark.
- Tina, the thriller writer, always declared herself to be on a diet and opted for the skinniest of lattes.
- Richard, the military history buff liked a cup of strong English tea.
- Karl, the comedy writer liked his coffee to be wild and whacky.
- Darcy, the Chick Lit writer, always opted for something sugary and sweet.
- Matt liked his coffee black with no fuss.
- Moira, the romantic fiction writer always went for something a bit fruity.
He dismissed the drinks idea and started to walk away. Before he reached his counter he looked back at Moira, giggling away to herself. Maybe he was right after all?
Matt, the Writing Club leader, tapped his spoon against his cup signalling for the session to begin.
‘Hello writers!’ He liked to sound cheerful and upbeat at the start of the sessions.
‘Tonight we are going to do something interesting’ he announced. ‘We are going to have a discussion about how we start our novels and then I am going to share with you a good article that I have on the subject!
His idea was met with raised eyebrows and open mouths.
‘OK’ said Matt, rubbing his hands. ‘Who is going to go first and share with the group how they open their novel?’
Moira raised her hand. ‘My first chapters always start with my female character dreaming. On waking she remembers a handsome man wearing a military uniform’ she said with a chuckle.
‘Moira’ said Karl. ‘By any chance do they get to meet the handsome man from their dreams and is it your favourite character Major Tom?’
Moira gasped and looked surprised. ‘Have you been secretly reading my work Karl?’
Karl laughed. ‘It was just a feeling I had!’
Moira giggled and a blush started to appear on her plump cheeks.
‘I like my opening chapter to start with a weather report’ announced Richard, taking up his spoon to stir his tea.
‘I like to start with a typical day in the life of a character’ said Tina breaking into a packet of biscuits.
Moira cast a glance at Tina and her biscuits.
‘It’s an amazing new biscuit diet’ acknowledged Tina.
Everyone looked at Tina hungrily devouring an oat crunch.
‘I like to start with a really gruesome death’ said Stacey, stabbing her page in her notebook with her pen.
An awkward silence descended upon the Writing Club. Richard edged his chair away from the pretty blonde horror writer.
‘In my first chapter’ announced Darcy, breaking the silence, ‘I like to start with some conflict’.
‘Great Darcy – give us an example!’ said Matt, pleased with Darcy’s answer and keen to hear more.
‘In my latest book Dateaholic the main character’s dating app shuts down. This is a total disaster for her as she’s just made contact with someone special!’ said Darcy, playing with her long brown hair.
‘Is that what you call a disaster?’ asked Stacey.
Darcy nodded. ‘Hell yea! If that happened to Tinder I don’t know what I’d do!’
‘Find another dating app?’ suggested Karl before taking a sip of his coffee.
Darcy glared at him. ‘No, all my messages with potential dates would be lost’ she said shaking her head.
‘That really sounds like end of the world stuff’ said Stacey, her voice tinged with sarcasm.
‘That’s not the only conflict in my first chapter’ Darcy announced, crossing her arms defensively.
‘Isn’t the dating app crash enough literary stress for your Chick Lit readers?’ asked Karl.
‘I also hint at my main character’s addiction’ said Darcy.
‘Hint?’ questioned Richard, looking at Darcy.
‘Yes hint’ snapped Darcy, letting out a sigh. ‘I don’t want to give too much away in my opening chapter.
‘Ok let’s move on’ said Matt, wiping his brow and starting to feel weary.
‘Shall we go straight to updates and then leave it there for tonight?’ he asked.
‘What about the article?’ asked Tina, biting into her third cookie of the evening.
Matt checked his watch. ‘I don’t think we need to do that. Let’s drink up and get an early night!’
‘Oh come on Matt!’ said Moira, starting to clap and causing Alfie to cast Matt a worried look.
Matt groaned and took out a photocopy of an article. ‘It’s an article about the worst ways to start a first chapter’ he muttered.
‘What does it say Matt’ urged Karl.
All writers waited for Matt to speak.
Matt shifted uncomfortably in his seat.
‘It says you shouldn’t start your stories with dreams, the weather or a day in the life of a character’ he said, avoiding eye contact with any of the Writing Club.
An awkward silence took hold of the table. Moira inspected her cream jumper for bits of fluff, Richard stirred his tea and Tina ate her fourth cookie’.
‘Was I right to start with some conflict?’ asked Darcy, grinning at Matt.
‘Yes you were right’ said Matt, giving her a weak smile.
‘The person who wrote the article probably knows nothing books’ said Tina cheerfully, wiping away crumbs from around her mouth.
‘I need to get on your diet Tina!’ exclaimed Moira.
Tina smiled. ‘Apparently biscuits have hidden nutritional and mental health benefits!’
Moira gave the thriller writer a puzzled look.
‘Who wrote the article Matt?’ asked Darcy, leaning towards him and keen to know more.
‘A literary agent’ said Matt quietly as Tina’s face fell.
‘Here have another biscuit’ said Moira, placing one in Tina’s hand and raising it to her lips.
‘Eat quickly!’ she ordered.
There will be more from the Writing Club next week.
For more Writing Club stories please click here.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/76060406@N07/16224924697″>Espresso and soda water.</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>