The First 500 Words!

first 500 words novel pebble beach

As it says on the tin really, the first 500 words of my novel!

I’m not really sure if it’s the done thing in the world of writing, but I am plagued with self-doubt.  So I thought I’d dip my toe in the water and just get the first 500 words out there.  Let’s face it, what is the worst thing that can happen?  Someone can tell me it is utterly crap.  Would I die from that?  Nope, but I might learn.  I’ve been wanting to write for so long, and I know of lots of people on the internet who have been published. So here is my try!

Chapter 1

The waves gently bathed the first foot of pebbles on the beach, enveloping each of them in the water as the sea came ashore.  Beyond that first foot of beach, the pebbles saw less and less of the water until the pebbles where she was sitting were not touched by the water at all.  It was a good analogy for a middle-aged woman’s life she thought.  Although the sun was out and the sky was a brilliant azure blue and the odd white cloud bobbed around, it wasn’t warm. It was late September and there was very little heat in the sun now.  Sarah wrapped her coat around her a little tighter.  She wasn’t quite ready to move away from the calming effect of the rhythmic sound the waves were making.

There were a few people walking on the path above, and a few more on the pier.  A seagull walked past her, looking almost as confused as she felt right now.  She hissed at it like a cat, but it practically laughed at her.  Even the seagull wouldn’t pay her any attention.  Maybe it was time to move, even though she had no motivation to do so.  She couldn’t help wonder if anyone would even notice if she walked into the sea right now and disappeared.  She had no significant other, not since he decided to get a woman half his age pregnant.  Her two children didn’t even bother with her much these days.  After all she wasn’t the one with all the money.  She was the one with a small 3 bedroomed flat.  She was the one with a job in the ticket office of a theatre.  She was the one that her twenty year old daughter had yelled at last week that she was “washed up, old, frumpy and had no clue.” 

Since that little outburst she had heard neither sight nor sound of Isobel.  She knew she was back at university and alive mainly due to the series of passive aggressive posts on Facebook about unreasonable parents.  Alexander, her son, had finished university last year and now lived in London.  Every six weeks or so she’d receive a text from him saying “I’m alive!” and that was pretty much it.   As far as the children were concerned, she had served her purpose.  They could perform all the tasks they needed to be socially acceptable.  To fulfil the norm.  What they needed now was cold hard cash, and she wasn’t the parent to get it from. 

She was now their emergency go to.  When they’d worn the very last clothes on their floordrobes, that’s when she saw them.  It was never a wholly enjoyable experience, or at least not for long.  Polite chit chat gave way to patronising speeches and accusations of asking too many questions.  Even backing off and not showing any interest in their lives didn’t seem to help.  She couldn’t do right for doing wrong.  In the meantime she had resolved to be there if she needed them but otherwise give them space for the independence that they seemed to crave.

You actually have a few more than 500 words, so bonus!  The synopsis of the whole story is about a middle-aged woman, who is deep into having an existential crisis finding love with someone totally unexpected.  Where is leads and how she deals with her crippling self-doubt and insecurities.  Having just read it through several times, I can already see where I want to change it!

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