Writing Challenge: Running

Marathon Month

How is marathon month going? Are you still at it? Keeping up? Hitting your wall? Haven’t really started yet? I was hoping to get A LOT done this month and things have been slower than I anticipated. Much slower. But that’s okay.

For today’s writing challenge, take a long hard look at #357 up there. If the MC in your WIP was in the same race, how would they be feeling right now? Would they be catching up to Mr. 357? Would they be ahead of him? Would they be panting after a few feet? Hitch a ride with someone?  Write a brief scene with your MC at a marathon. Play around with it. Think about why they’d be there; What would be the motivation? How would they prepare? Would they prepare? Who else would be there to cheer them on/compete with them?

Post your piece here and let’s see if in just one scene we can get an idea of the kind of person your MC is.


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5 responses to “Writing Challenge: Running

  1. Amy

    Whew, I accomplished a goal last night. Poor hubby had to do without a wife and kids had to fend for themselves – but things really started to happen with my characters -love the feeling!

    Hmm, don’t know that I’m brave enough to post a scene… let me mull this one over

  2. Well, Junior Prom got a little in the way of marathoning…

    And a broken printer.
    And Spring Break.
    And the three books I couldn’t stop reading.
    And last-minute tax stuff.

    But I’m still finishing by the end of April, I swear.

    Why do I hate my book now that it’s printed on paper in a big, fat notebook and I can touch it?

    All that ugly red pen.

  3. Not exactly a marathon, but I was thinking about this when I wrote the following rough part of chapter 3 in my WIP…

    Missing the funeral made the loss of Lauriette unreal.
    When I got back to school the next week, life for most of the kids had already continued. Those who knew Lauriette kept to their packs and spoke in hushed conversation. I’d never been part of their group and wasn’t about to start, but it might have been better than the alternative. When I walked the halls, backpack over one shoulder, left arm in a sling, I knew I’d changed.
    I didn’t exist before. No one knew me, so no one noticed. But having been in the papers, they knew my face, and the lack of attention was intentional. Their gazes slid past me, avoiding my eyes, the limp in my step.
    Did they know that I’d been the one behind the wheel? They had to. My father had made sure of that.
    There was a note, just as Lauriette had promised, waiting for me in my locker. I left it there, gathered my books, and pushed the door closed with my knuckles.
    At the beginning of every class, I gave the teacher one of the slips that the woman in the office had given me, explaining where I’d been. Not that they’d needed an explanation, but bureaucracy was what it was. I caught the stares of the other seniors, who looked away when I turned to walk to my seat in the back.
    I couldn’t tell if they hated me, blaming me for what had happened. If they thought I was dangerous and reckless. Several of them had gone to the funeral. What did it mean to them that I hadn’t been there? Did it mean anything?
    I drew black circles in my notebook, filling in the margins, and tried to ignore the whispers. Part of me agreed with them. It was my fault. Lauriette was dead because of me. And by not standing up to William Coal, I’d sold my soul to the media, turning her death into a business opportunity for him and Mr. Linden.
    By Chemistry, I’d lost all interest in being back. I dropped off my slip of paper and took the long walk back to my locker on the other end of the school. No one stopped me, though the vice principal gave me a look. I didn’t care. I put in my combination, spun the lock, and opened the locker without care. The pale pink envelope was where I left it.
    I shifted the books in my arm and used my free hand to pluck the envelope up, holding it between my teeth while I put my baggage away. The walk home wasn’t bad, but I didn’t want to bring any excess weight with me. Besides, I had no pretense of doing homework.
    Class was still in session when I left, leaving the world outside quiet and empty. I walked through the parking lot, skirting past the junkers and parent-owned vehicles to get to the grass field to the south. The spot that I used to use was taken by a Geo Metro; a pale comparison to the truck that had been totalled.
    I cut across the field, taking time to let my legs stretch. The footballers yelled out their formations just past the stadium seating. Voices echoed. I walked faster.
    The fence at the far end had a gap wide enough for two or three adults to pass through at once. It led into stretch of grass and then a church parking lot. Salem City Park was just beyond that. Mom would have freaked if I’d come home an hour before school let out, so I walked through the fallen leaves and out to the track.
    I wasn’t athletic, but I liked to run. Track was the only sort of sports-related thing I’d ever been good at, but the coach had dropped me from the team. I hadn’t been fast, so a head injury was the perfect excuse to get rid of me. Couldn’t say that I blamed him. But I still needed to move.
    I reached into my bag and pulled out the envelope, rubbing the rough fiber texture between my fingers. A heart-shaped sticker sealed it. I peeled back the adhesive without tearing it or the fold. I pulled out the letter, read it, then hit the track, leaving the envelope, letter, and bag behind.
    It hurt at first. Muscles still stiff and sore from the two weeks that I spent in the hospital, bruises from the accident faded. Once I got going, though, things got easier. The pain felt good. Every heavy step on the tarmac jostled my arm. Every heartbeat pounded in my aching head.
    I thought about the letter.
    It was short and written in purple pen. Each letter had been drafted with loops as large as possible and curls at every angle. It was Lauriette, true to form. Fishsticks had even been written and then crossed out twice.

    I think the book that I’m looking for is called Hauntings Anonymous. Theo was telling me about it last night, but I forgot to write the title down. I’ll try to get you to look it up for me tonight. Do you think we could go to the estate again after? I think we’re getting close to figuring something out, and no one will be around.
    It’s probably crazy, but I think Theo is on to something. Why else would dad be so eager to renovate? And why would all of this bad stuff be happening?
    Anyway, TTYL! I’ll find you at the library.

    Nothing in the note held information that I didn’t already know. She knew, even, that the chances of my going to my locker between class and the library were next to nothing, but she still left me a stupid note.
    She knew that I didn’t like her but she did it anyway.
    I picked up the pace, teeth grit against the chill in the autumn air and the memories.


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