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First timers` first chapter

by tc21 

Posted: 12 September 2003
Word Count: 1260
Summary: This is the first chapter of a story I've been working on. Not really sure how it reads to anyone other than me so all comments are welcome, good or bad.

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Cara felt great when she woke up today. Last night she had the best sleep of her life. The most complete, refreshing and energising sleep you could ever imagine. It was wonderful.

Today was the day. It was here. The beginning of the rest of her life. A brand-new start.

Today was her wedding day. Today, Cara Kingsley was marrying Tyler Henry. Tyler, her Tyler. Her light, her all, her reason for being.
In a few hours time she would be Mrs Tyler Henry.

Mrs Tyler Henry.

They had met 4 years previous. To be honest it was love at first sight. She saw him and she knew straight away that he was the man that she was going to marry. She had gone to a works do’ with her friend Paula. It was all last minute, she’d actually planned to stay in and wash her hair that night. But Paula had rung her desperate for someone to accompany her. She’d just started a new job at a prestigious marketing company and she ‘was damned if she was going to this party alone.

So Cara went, just as a favour. Unlike the rest this was a favour she didn’t live to regret.

It was your typical works’ party. Members of the Old Boys Club, their trophy wives and the few younger girls like Paula employed to limit the number of Sexual Discrimination Lawsuits. The usual.

That’s probably why she noticed Tyler straight away – a rose among the thorns. He was younger than the rest with this amazing aura circling him.

The first time their eyes met was across the bar. She was paying for some drinks when she first saw him. He was stood there with some dizzy piece from admin drooling all over him. Cara laughed as she pictured the scene. He was stood there looking as if he wanted the ground to open up and swallow him whole in order to take him away from the annoying wasp buzzing around him. She saw it though; everyone could understand these girls hovering around him, vying for his attention, waiting for him to give them at least the slightest acknowledgement.

She too stood there for what felt like a lifetime, just stood there and watched him. He really was beautiful. Roughly 6ft, average build but appearing toned underneath his suit, short brown hair and the most mesmerising eyes she had ever seen. They were green, really green. The ideal mould of an attractive male.

She knew then and there.

Cara rolled over in bed and looked at the standardised hotel alarm clock. 8.38am.
Just 4 hours and 22 mins to go. She couldn’t wait. In one way it felt like a typical morning; me rolling over, checking the time, lighting a cigarette but then I so apprehensive. Not scared or nervous but really excited. Like a child on Christmas morning. Dying to know what Santa had left them but scared in case it wasn’t what they wanted. Thankfully I knew I’d love the gift I was getting today.


Ah, time to get up.
“Hold on a sec?” Cara called through the door. Jumping out of bed she glanced in the mirror.
“SHIT!” She cursed. Looking at herself she decided she had better put on a dressing gown; she couldn’t answer the door in my nightie nearly being a married woman and all that.

She chuckled to herself.

She peeped through the spyhole; rooms service and opened the door.

“Good morning Miss Kingsley.” Said the penguin-suited man who stood in front of her.
“Morning’ she replied ‘come in.”
He wheeled his trolley into the suite, looking back at her; he paused.
“Oh your tip. Just give me a sec.”

Where’s my purse? Where’s my purse? WHERE’S MY PURSE? She asked herself in her head.

She found it on the chair underneath last night’s dress and underwear. Pulling out a tenner she handed it to him. Before she could even take a breath he was gone.

Cheeky Bastard! She thought, not even a ‘Thank You’. You just can’t get the staff these days.

She walked over to the trolley and lifted the lid off the platter. A Full English – YUM!
Even after all this time she still didn’t know a better way to start the day.
Cara sat down and tucked in, before she knew it she’d cleaned the plate.

She looked at the clock again. 9:00am. Right, better get in the shower.


She took a deep breath.
‘Here we go’ she muttered to myself ‘let the games begin’
As she opened the door to her mum, Christine and her Chief Bridesmaid, Sarah she knew that from this moment forward her life would never be the same again.


“Sarah, what’s the time?”
It was Sarah’s turn to look over at the clock.
“Ten to One” she said raising her eyebrows at the bride
“Don’t worry. I’m the bride; it’s my prerogative to be late. Anyway if I was on time we’d be having a few funerals coz I’d give everyone a heart attack.”
Sarah laughed.
“You okay?”
“Me?’ Sarah waited for Cara to compose myself ‘I’m wonderful. I’m the happiest and luckiest person alive. Actually Tyler’s the luckiest person alive.”
They both chuckled.
“I can’t believe it. Cara Kingsley getting married, who would have thought it?”
“What are you trying to say?” Cara teased
“You know what I mean. You’re, sorry, you were the original single girl. No man was ever going to tie you down.”
“Well Tyler isn’t just no man. He’s the man. And cheesy as it sounds, he’s perfect. I love the good, the bad and the damnright awful bits of him. But all in all I’m in love with him and he’s in love with me. What more can I ask for?”
“Nothing. Nothing at all.”
“Come on love, no tears.’ she said noticing Sarah’s eyes glassing over ‘It’s ShowTime.” She proclaimed.
“Stand up, let me look at you.”
Cara rose from the florally patterned hotel chair.
“Wow. I think Tyler is a very lucky man. And he best not do anything to hurt you otherwise I’ll be forced to chop his bits off.”
These two old friends hugged while trying not to smudge their expertly made up faces.
At that moment in time they both felt slightly weird, their last girlie giggle with Cara as a single girl. Cara decided then that there was one thing her marriage would never affect and that was her friendship with Sarah. Good or bad they knew they’d always be there for each other. Best Friends Forever. Just like it said on their old schoolbooks.

“SHIT!” Cara yelled, killing the moment somewhat.
“My something new. You know; old, borrowed, blue and new. I forgot my something new.”
“Bloody hell, I nearly forgot.’ Sarah reached into her suitcase and pulled out an oblong box ‘Tyler said I wasn’t to give this to you until now.”
Taking it from her Cara sighed and opened the box.
“WOW!” They both said in unison.
It was beautiful. A platinum bracelet.
“It’s got an inscription on the inside.” Sarah said.
Holding it in her hand Cara gently turned it over.

Cara. My all, my everything, my world. Eternal Love. Tyler. 4 Aug 2008.

For once in her life Cara was speechless. She honestly didn’t know what to say. They stood there silently as Sarah placed the bracelet on her wrist. They all gave the bracelet on last glance before heading for the door.

It was time.

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Comments by other Members

Anna Reynolds at 15:57 on 25 September 2003  Report this post
tc21, this is very readable. You've got a nice pace to it, the characters are likeable and recognisable. I had a few thoughts- there are several places where you change from 'Cara felt...' to 'I am' and refer to 'my..' rather than she or hers. That's easy enough to keep an eye on. Also, you've set up a situation where evrything is rosy; Cara is excited, happy, having found the dreamlike man, etc- you might need to introduce something that will keep us wondering what's going to go wrong with this apparently perfect picture. I have a feeling that Tyler may turn out to be less perfect than he appears, otherwise what is the drama leading to? It might also be good to seed this in a little here, so that we're starting to be curious and want to know more. Also, when you introduce the waiter, I thought you were setting that little scenario up to contain an element of surprise- but in fact it's just breakfast. Unless it's an integral part of the story or tells us something that we didn't know about the character, it's best to make these as minimal as possible, as your reader is wanting to know what is going to happen that's unusual, different, problematic- in short, what does your character want, what might stop her from getting it, and how does she overcome that problem and succeed? Do you have ideas/plans about where the story is going from here?

old friend at 20:21 on 09 October 2003  Report this post

A nice and pleasant piece but I did feel that the characters were rather two-dimensional and without much depth. It is like the proverbial 'box of sweet chocolates' and I was wondering if there would be any sign of 'something unexpected' coming through; something that might give the reader a clue to the plot.

Just imagine if the name engraved on the bracelet had not been 'Carla' but had been 'Dawn' or 'Darling Shirley'???... and the Chapter ends there!

A nice and easy read. Thanks.



Tony Irwin at 16:30 on 20 December 2005  Report this post
Hi TC21,

I enjoyed reading this, it has a lovely flow to it.

I noticed though that Cara is very passive, she's not really making things happen around her. For example in the flashback scene she really only takes one action (she's buying drinks and stops to stare at Tyler) and then the flashback is over. Similarly with the breakfast - she tips the waiter and eats her breakfast then that scene is over.

I think you could make Cara a much stronger character by describing sequences of actions that she takes to pursue the thing she wants. For example what could she do to try and get Tyler's attention in the flashback, what could she do prepare for her wedding? If we don't see how Cara actively pursues her desires then we'll soon lose interest in her.

I also think you could strengthen Cara by showing us decisions she makes:

She had gone to a works do’ with her friend Paula. It was all last minute, she’d actually planned to stay in and wash her hair that night. But Paula had rung her desperate for someone to accompany her.

I thought this was great - because by putting a choice in front of Cara (help your buddy or wash your hair) we get some real insight into the kind of person she is. I encourage you to think up as many choices as you can to put in front of Cara in this passage. We'll learn a lot about her from seeing the decisions she makes.

When you've got Cara making important decisions and taking determined actions one after the other then I think you'll really pull us into her world.



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