A simple request

I wrote a play set in Liverpool during the heatwave of 1976 ,called 'The Simple Summer of 76' it never made the theatre but I remain convinced that it is not only a very funny caper but that the setting is commercial in the sense that this period is regarded as being one the nations fondest memories,
So I am writing it as a novelette as I think it has legs.
I need help, the story itself is already written as I am converting a play, its not an easy task but its very doable.
My problem is that I need a great preface one that makes the reader instantly gel with the writer.
But my confidence and concentration is not what they should be at the moment (Hence a post in the middle of the night)
I have posted the preface below , its not long but I hope its inciteful.
What I need is some help from someone ready have a quick look and tell me if it would make them want to read on?
The story works I know this in my bones but its the preface that will sell it so I need to know if its good enough?

The Simple Summer of 76
Preface

Seeing that I was sixteen at the time, having just left school with an O' Level in woodwork. Along with a certificate for recovering a rubber brick from the bottom of a swimming pool in my pyjamas. You could be forgiven for thinking that these are hardly going to be the accounts of a 'Seasoned Observer'.
That being the case and before we go a foot further, may I offer up my own type of credentials? And let you be the judge of what you're getting into.

Curriculum Vitae
Aged five I was already known as 'Auld Man Dan'. A nickname given by bemused adults after I had been asking or answering questions way past my age range.

By the time I was nine people my nans age would say "He's been here before" On the surface a joke about reincarnation, however, it was said in the same tone that I suspect started the Salem Witch Trails.

At fourteen I was given the ultimate accolade after I became widely known for being somebody who 'Doesn't miss a trick'. A Scouse way of issuing a compliment to one person while embedding in it a note of caution to all others. So, as you can see, I am more than qualified to comment on events.

In truth I have always seen the small that makes the big, for me the key to a good story. Not only that, but I remain adamant to this day that I was aware at the time that I was living through would not only become folk law but actual social history, and I was right.

The only demon I had to struggle with in the telling of my tale was whether to retrospectively sanitise the views people held at that time? But in the interest of the story's realism, it was necessary to have some references. These I have kept to an absolute minimum and in some cases indicate, rather than state.

What I hope to have written is a simple insight into events and individual's during a period that was similar in a degree to the 'Spirit of the Blitz' I watched as people banded together in some instances and yet were never further apart in others. It was a strange time, that exposed to me the weaknesses and strengths of both my family and the people who made up the neighbourhood that we lived in.

And it's all set under a cloudless sky were people queued for water on the pavement and the tar on the road bubbled like lava.

Thanks in advance

No sanitisation. People want gritty.
If it's a story of times past then it should be written as it was.
If I read that it has been sanitised - I'd read no further.

Thanks for the read Ste its not over sanitised its just that the views on loads of stuff was wholly different back then . But I get you point that it comes across that way so I may take that bit out as its basically just a really funny account of a party in council house. As I said I'm not all that sure myself so other views are important.

I don't think you need to apologise or pre-empt anything.
As long as things aren't gratuitous ie as long as you're not trying to get a 'laugh' from something you wouldn't dream of getting a laugh from today, under the guise of 'authenticity', I think it's fine.
Anyway - an editor/publisher will have the final say on that - so, not your problem!

I think you need more a hook. Something that gives the reader more of an idea of what the story is about and makes them want to read it. You have a nice easygoing style, but it needs more direction and focus.

These are good points to get thanks for the feedback. I will take it out as its not that bad to be honest its just that these days most of the people who give first reads are interns so I saw it as a bit of reassurance. I'll take it out and follow the advice about increasing the hook thanks again folks.
On a lighter note I had a ten minute play performed last night at a 75 seater theatre above a pub in London I have no idea how it went I just enjoyed seeing the promo as it was s mall boost, https://pbs.twimg.com/media/F-VHs2eWwAA-piU?format=jpg&name=large

Quote: Teddy Paddalack @ 24th November 2023, 2:03 PM

On a lighter note I had a ten minute play performed last night at a 75 seater theatre above a pub in London I have no idea how it went I just enjoyed seeing the promo as it was s mall boost, https://pbs.twimg.com/media/F-VHs2eWwAA-piU?format=jpg&name=large

Well done.
How'd you pull that off?

I just saw a call for 10 minute plays and I had already been writing ten minute dialogues so I did one that was all female to tip the scale in my favour. It was last night so I don't know how it went down yet? They did loads so they may let me know in the end. It was just a nice boost to be honest.

Nice one, Teddy.

Quote: Teddy Paddalack @ 24th November 2023, 5:46 PM

I just saw a call for 10 minute plays and I had already been writing ten minute dialogues so I did one that was all female to tip the scale in my favour. It was last night so I don't know how it went down yet? They did loads so they may let me know in the end. It was just a nice boost to be honest.

Anyone film it?
I hope so.
Well done, mate.

To be honest I think its almost like improv with hardly any props and that. If they have and I get a copy I'll post it no sweat but Its not a big deal so I don't know if they do? Anyway it's a small boost so I'm happy just to know I had words read out.

That final funny and evocative paragraph alone would make me want to read the script. As you know, Teddy, I've always admired your work, and am convinced you're going to break through sooner or later.

Nice Swan Beaky, its a great tale very funny even if I do say so myself. It even has a villain who may have just been an urban myth known as 'The Paw' who took advantage of an entire neighbourhood sleeping with every upstairs window open only to wake up and find that their alarm clock loose change on the bedside drawers has disappeared, Not to mention a man who became known as Christopher Lee due to him watering his lawn in the early hours to avoid the hosepipe ban.
Its a funny tale but I will also take heed of Stephens advice and take out the warning as I don't intend to sanitise it just make it even funnier and as Lazzard advised avoid the issues that could bog me down.

I have taken on board all the advice I was given,
Stephen I have taken out any warnings , so it's warts and all.
Lazzard I didn't intend to be too gratuitous but I will now have it as my watch word.
Chipolata I have (I hope) laid it out better with a clear hook,
The reason behind my request for help with the preface is because it helps my confidence that I am on the right track before I put the months into it.

Here's how it looks now,
PREFACE
Given that I was sixteen at the time, having left school with an O' Level in woodwork and a certificate for recovering a rubber brick from the bottom of a swimming pool in my pyjamas. You could be forgiven for thinking that these are hardly going to be the accounts of a 'Seasoned Observer'. That being the case, all I can offer up by way of reassurance is to present to you my own form of credentials and let you be the judge of what you're getting into.

At the age of five I was already known as 'Auld Man Dan'. A nickname given by bemused adults after I had been asking or answering questions way past my age range.

By the time I was nine people my nans age would often say "He's been here before" On the surface a joke about reincarnation, issued however in the same tone that I suspect started the Salem Witch Trails.

Once I reached fourteen, I was given the ultimate accolade after becoming widely known as somebody who 'Doesn't miss a trick'. It's a Scouse way of issuing a compliment to one person while embedding in it a note of caution to all others. So, as you can see, I am more than qualified to comment on events.

I have always seen the small that makes the big, for me it's the essence of a story. As such what I hope to have written is a simple yet insightful look into both the events and individuals from a period, that I believe was similar in a degree to the 'Spirit of the Blitz'. A time when people banded together in some instances yet were never further apart in others.

Being my own personal memoirs, they are set in a working- class Liverpool council house that is preparing to throw a family party that would draw in far flung relatives and rekindle old issues both inside and outside our home. My aim being to recount a small slice of social history that would otherwise be lost to time. A sort of Downton Abbey for near do wells.

And while poignant at times, my observations are noted more in humour than seriousness as I have never been a fan of pathos by proxy. Life's hard enough for most as it is, and besides history is at its best when it's also a means of escapism.

The summer of 1976 is the ideal example, because despite its hardships it remains for many one of their fondest memories. So much so that this period has also become part of our folklore and with good reason.

Did you mean ne'er do wells?