Write Club #2: Manic

The following is our first attempt at a timed challenge: ten minutes for each of us to craft a slapdash narrative fit to a specific prompt. Hopefully you can sense the author’s sense of sheer desperation.

Take the following character “descriptions,” and convert each into a paragraph containing only action. Put the character into an everyday situation. let the way your character rips apart lettuce for the salad he is making, or the way she gets her cup of tea, show us what these sentences are trying to tell us:

  Ed was crazy, in a good way

– Dinty Moore, Penn State University.”

Stephen K

pedal, pedal, pedal. Ed looked over his shoulder as he changed lanes between cars. He accelerated, despite the lactic acid building in his legs, knowing, or betting rather that the cars around him would slow down as he positioned himself to take the next left turn across traffic. Ed grinned when the adrenaline seeped from his pores and made its way to his nostrils as he yanked his bike up under his body to get more torque for the hills up ahead. Ed’s feet became a blur as he entered one of the worst streets for bicyclists in the city.

Grant Granger

A van veered six inches in front of the hood, but Ed hardly broke stride in the midst of his story. He
drummed the dashboard with one hand for emphasis or out of some deep-seated need to tactically
appease his personal cocktail of neuroses. In one fell swoop of his right hand he changed radio stations
and tousled my hair playfully, unaware or uncaring of the cacophony of blaring horns and screeching
tires before us. He built his story with an increasingly furious pace, Sam Kennison but without the
downers, and then – abruptly he stopped, punchline half-realized – to roll down the window and ask the
old man in the next lane about his day.

Sean Flannigan

He didn’t so much flail as flop around gracefully. As Ed drank, his chest billowed out balloon-like, the biggest thing you’ve ever seen and then that wonderfully impossible smile, the beer dripping off his chin. He gawked at the other contestants with pleasure. He was some impossible creature. He crashed another beer to the table and gleefully grasped for the next, devouring the very soul of the thing. Empties littered his workspace. This is his home, he lives here, he will die here. He delivered another to his impossible stomach in a few seconds. The other men gave sidelong glances of fear. They had no chance. His face was a roiling bag of ecstatic worms.


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