Drinking Scotch with Strangers – opening

Special thanks to Heather Webb for yet another good reason to post to my blog.

First 250 words of Drinking Scotch with Strangers

Genre: Women’s fiction w/ a few erotica scenes


Telling my husband he could have an affair—no, actually encouraging him to—while he was away on a business trip was probably not the smartest thing I’d ever done. It seemed like a good idea at the time, though. A way to let him know that I felt awful about not wanting to have sex anymore and that I understood he didn’t feel the same way. And I thought I was safe from any blowback since we set rules to make this an entirely safe experiment.

“Don’t have sex with anyone local; anyone who lives within a six-hour drive is off-limits. Deal?”

He raised his bushy monobrow (I wondered if he’d make time to pluck them into two before he left, thinking it would increase his odds of finding a lover) and nodded his agreement.

“Wear a condom.”

“Of course,” he said, as if I’d just asked him to buy milk.

“Well, it’s not like you’ve had to for the last sixteen years.” I was irritated by his cavalier tone. “And be honest when I ask if anything happened while you were away. If I want details, you have to promise not to keep secrets.”

That was really my most important rule since I could accept the love-of-my-life in bed with another woman but I couldn’t stand it when he lied to me. And he had. More than a few times during our marriage.

In a way, giving him permission to have an affair was not only easing my libido-less conscience, it was, I thought, also protecting our relationship from the fall-out that would inevitably follow if he ever did have a secret affair. And I totally expected he would.

Hell, had I been in his boxers, I’d have cheated on me years ago. Not that I’ve been a bad wife, it’s just that I haven’t enjoyed getting naked with James in a few years. Six, to be exact.

But it didn’t start out that way. In fact, when we met, sex with James almost killed my relationship with my best friend, JoAnn.

Posted in Creative writing, Drinking Scotch with Strangers
12 comments on “Drinking Scotch with Strangers – opening
  1. Kris Mehigan says:

    Must. Read. More.

    Clearly, I am your target audience. I fully connect with your MCs voice and empathize with her. Nice work!


    PS- You had me at ‘Scotch’.

  2. Smooth voice like that Scotch. I’m curious how this all turns out. Intellectually it makes sense, but when he actually tells her…well, we’ll see how she takes it. Nice job, I want to read more.

  3. Nice! Hooked me with the first sentence. A woman telling her husband to have an affair? Makes me want to know more. There is the explanation that she isn’t having sex with him anymore, but there have to be more underlying reasons, I think. I just noticed the full title: Drinking Scotch with Strangers. Would love to know if this refers to the narrator or her husband. Great job!

  4. Great opening. It’s got hook, voice and enough insights to give a sense of the characters without revealing too much. I’d read more.

  5. This opening is a hook that catches instantly. Yes, I agree. I love the “scotch” in the title. And I really agree with your almost flippant style of voice. Excellent!

  6. Heather Webb says:

    I love the voice and it’s definitely a grabby opening! My only teeny tiny bit of advice is to show us a little bit more of her husband’s body language. I’d like to see him raise a dark, furry eyebrow, or squint at her as if she’s insane. You do make a reference to it with the nod, but I’d love to see a sharper detail there instead. Love this!

  7. Donna Barker says:

    I’m thrilled at this response since I had an entirely different opening half-an-hour before I posted this new and improved one. Had I not entered this contest, I’d have never thought to redo the original 250 words. Very cool! Thanks everyone.

  8. MB Mulhall says:

    Good hook that would pull most people in and I like the voice. I am left wondering what the husband has lied about as it doesn’t seem he’s cheated yet.

    I do enjoy a strong female MC and I hope yours will evolve as the story continues. The last line “Hell, had I been in his shoes, I’d have cheated on me years ago” has me thinking she doesn’t think too much of herself.

    Otherwise, good job!

  9. D. D. Falvo says:

    Ah, well, even best of intentions, however sincere, can go awry–and I can see you are intentionally brewing a disaster here. Ai-yi-yi. What a premise. It’s genius. Your voice is smooth, easy to sink into. The only suggestion I have is that the detail about the business trip does not make or break the opening, and your pacing hits a speed bump with it. That’s all I got. I’d love to read more, Donna.

  10. Marie Meyer says:

    You have a fabulous hook, fabulous premise! Your voice is spot on!! I would love to know more! Well done, good luck with this story; it’s a gem!

  11. Alec Breton says:

    I agree with others, when they say a little more needs to be revealed about the husband. That way the reader can understand better the tension between them. I presume there are some storm clouds are on their horizon which will bring some hard choices.

  12. BAM! Right out of the gate. This is a terrific set up. It sounds all logical and well laid out (excuse the pun), but you know this is going to be a delightful mess. Yes, a little more about the husband is needed, but this is only the first 250 words. Don’t mess with it. You’ve got us hooked, so we’ll get to the husband stuff at some point.

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