100 Days of Summer Writing Challenge

May 27, 2013 at 5:26 pm 8 comments

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep up, but whenever I do accept the ‘prompt of the day’ writing challenge I’ll post it here.
Join me if you’d like and let me know where I can read what you’ve written!
All the details are here on Shannon Abercrombie’s blog: http://www.shannonabercrombie.com/welcome-ladies-and-gents-2/

So here we go. Here’s my Day #1 response.
Prompt 1: Start a scene where your protagonist celebrates a moment of glory or suffers through a public embarrassment.  Try showing this moment rather than telling what happened.  A strong example of a protagonist caught in a public moment is Hester Prynne, from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.  She is shamefully led from the town prison with a scarlet “A” on her chest.   As a reader, we learn about Hester’s character and commitment by her resolve to protect the father of her baby.  This scene builds an impeccable sense of the character as well as creating tension and exposes a central conflict in the storyline.

Response: She never took her eyes off of him. She watched him as he roller skated toward her, showing off his fancy footwork as he performed a perfect cross over on every curve. Then she gazed at his broad shoulders whenever he moved past her, push-glide-push-glide-push-glide-spin. He was the tallest of all the 7th grade boys, and the strongest and fastest and funniest and most handsome too. All the girls thought so.
But on this night of the 7th grade roller skating party, when every whiz past her caused her bangs to lift and her hot cheeks to cool, when he saved his fanciest twirls and spins and backward skating for when he was directly in front of the bench where she was sitting, she just knew he was finally going to ask her to skate. So she wiped her sweaty palms on the back side of her pants whenever he wasn’t looking. She used her fingers to comb her bangs back in place over that pesky cowlick. Each time he came back around the roller rink and smiled, she smiled back. Again. And again. And again.
Her heart told her he was coming before it registered in her brain – the rapid beat-beat-beat-skip-beat. He’d broken away from the knot of boys going ‘round and ‘round the rink and now he was skating toward her, dragging the toe of his skate, moving slower and closer. His smile was huge. He continued to drag his toe – slower and closer. His braces flashed. Slower and closer. He used his middle finger to push his square black glasses back up his nose.
He was so close now that she could see the dark stains beneath his armpits. His cheeks were shiny with sweat. His glasses slipped again. He ignored them this time and stretched out his hand with a laugh that reverberated around the room.
So close.
So handsome.
She took a deep breath and stood. She took another deep breath and smiled. She looked down for just a moment to make sure her blouse was still tucked into the front of her pants and to position her skates just so – it would be absolutely embarrassing if she fell now. When she lifted her gaze to meet his she lifted her hand as well – to touch his.
The sharp bang-thud-bang-thud-bang-thud of her heart confirmed what her eyes could see. His eyes, his smile, his hand – they held …. her best friend, sitting next to her, smiling, sighing …. standing. As they skated away, neither of them seemed to notice her slip back down toward the bench, like ice cream melting down the side of a cone on a sweltering hot day and falling to the ground, drip-drip-drip.

  1. 5:00 PM / ~45 minutes
  2. Mood: crabby that the first assignment was so hard.
  3. Reminder: Don’t think; write. No editing. No questioning. Permission granted to fail on the page.

Entry filed under: Noodling Around -- New Stories, SCBWI, Steering the Craft_Writing Exercises. Tags: , , , , .

On Saying ‘Yes’ Day 2: 100 Summer Days Writing Challenge

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