I've written chapter one, which introduces my main character (Sage) and her potential love interest (Nick). Boring though this will probably be for any readers, I feel I need to celebrate the slow growth of a new (and planned) book.
Looking over the first chapter, it has to deliver an engaging lead because otherwise you won't care enough to read on (I'm thinking). The mystery of the body of a baby down a well would keep my interest for a few pages, but I need more. I've tried to introduce hints that Sage's personal life is entangled but I don't want the main focus to be on the possible relationship, but on the mystery. I've tried to introduce the creepy, ghostly feeling at page 1 as well (I've read that it's good to establish genre in the first five pages). I've tried to suggest Sage is an archaeologist, but not the stereotypical, middle aged, Time Team sort. The third character I've introduced, I suppose is the house and its creepy, distressed owner, Judith. Lots of opportunity to put people in a bit of emotional terror.
One thing that bothers me a bit though...when I was working as a psychologist about twelve years ago, I did go to this incredibly creepy house and work with a lady who looked, to me, completely haunted by the place. I suppose the description of the house is very much that one. I suppose we all introduce ideas, characters and places we actually know (usually unconsciously) but this lady's story has 'haunted' me for so long, it's flavoured a story. I feel like I'm writing this unfinished business into the book. I can't work out if that's perfectly healthy or rather sleazy exploitation.