Time for another post of me rambling inanely about writing. As usual, I’m hesitant to give any definitive opinions about what does and doesn’t make for a good story start, so I’ll just do as I normally do and ramble through different ways you can open, and my thoughts on them. And as usual, I’m just some random person who’s not yet managed to get published, so my opinions are of no more value than anyone else’s, and less value than some people’s.
So, a pretty vital part of writing a story – or anything – is the beginning. If you don’t grab people at the start then they don’t have any reason to read on, and a promise of ‘it gets better’ won’t help very much. People can’t be expected to read something they don’t like in the hopes that they may eventually start liking it. They sometimes do; I’ve ended up liking some things that I initially had to force my way through. But I’ve also put books down because they didn’t catch my interest fast enough. Whether or not I keep on going depends on my mood and what else I happen to have on hand that I could be doing. And I don’t think any writer wants to rely on readers being in a charitable mood and having nothing else to do.
This post is about a walk from Linton Falls to Hebden, along the river Wharfe.
Linton Falls are a bit away from the main body of Linton. Well, there’s an entire chunk of the village just completely separate from the rest of it, which is where the falls are. There’s a car park here, which is a handy starting point for the walk.
Starting with your back to the car park you go left along the road, until you reach a path going down on your right. This leads first to a little packhorse bridge, which you ignore if you want to cross the falls, but it is a nice little bridge, and I always feel a need to photograph it when I pass by that way. Anyway, you turn right and continue along until you reach the falls, which have a much bigger bridge going across.
Beamsley Beacon is a hill in North Yorkshire, by the village of Beamsley. Apparently it’s also called Howber Hill, but Beamsley Beacon is the name I’ve always known it by.
The shortest way to walk it is to park in the parking area just at the bottom of the hill. You can start from further away, and I believe I have in the past, but not for some time. So this is starting from the parking area.
Recently I visited Studley Royal Park in North Yorkshire. It’s an amazing place – though expensive with it. But you can spend a day there, and we did spend a good part of a day there.
The area comprises of what was once two separate estates; the Studley Estate and the Fountain’s Abbey Estate, which were combined in the eighteenth century, when William Aislabie, owner of the former, bought the latter.
The Fountain’s Abbey Estate, as the name suggests, encompassed the ruins of Fountain’s Abbey, one of the two biggest draws of the park; the land was sold by the crown following the dissolution of the monasteries. Fountain’s Hall was built in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century; when the estates were combined, the Aislabie family stayed in Studley Royal House, but Fountain’s Hall seems to have been kept in continuous use. Some of it is now holiday apartments.
Mirror mirror on the wall
Who’s the one who’s just like me?
The one who claps their hands with glee
When others shake and cry and plea
The one who refuses to see
There’s not much further they can fall.