“Look” Challenge

James from The Written Word issued me this challenge, which sounded like a ton of fun. Please, excuse the mistakes and awkward constructions. I haven’t gotten to editing yet.

The Challenge:

It’s for authors who are writing or who have written books and is a way to let others sneak a peek at their work. It’s called The Look Challenge. Here’s how it works. You search your manuscript for the word “look” and copy the surrounding paragraphs into a post to let other bloggers read. Then you tag five blogger/authors.

From my tentatively titled novel, “November Nights”:


Coming home never infused Zola with a rush of warmth and nostalgia. Rather, a coldness settled around her heart the moment she stepped onto the driveway. Since she’d left home at eighteen, it seemed to her that Kylene had made it her personal mission to ensure that Zola felt as alienated from her family as possible. First she lost her room. Then pictures of her had disappeared from around the house. Now she’d even lost her chair at the dinner table.

“It doesn’t make sense to leave out five chairs, when one is almost never filled,” Kylene had explained, when Zola had had the misfortune to bring it up one Thanksgiving. The stool that lived next to the fireplace, more decorative than functional, had been brought into the kitchen for her to sit on.

“November still has a chair,” she’d remarked, sullenly.

“Four is an even number,” her mother retorted. “Three would look odd”.


“I didn’t expect anyone to come walking out of there.” His face was flushed pink from the exertion and the summer heat, setting his green eyes even more aglow.

    “I should have been paying more attention.” Lucy picked at the back of her dress, pulling the white cotton linen away from where it was sticking to her skin.

    “What’s in your pocket?”

    She hastily withdrew her hand. “Nothing.”

    “Really?” There was a slight challenge in his voice.


    “Can I see it?”

    She hesitated, wanting to resist further. But she could tell by the look on his face he wouldn’t let her go until she showed him. Reluctantly, she pulled the skull out of her pocket and held it out for him to see, the yellowed bone making the pink and white skin of her palm appear that much whiter. Braden carefully took it from her, holding it with both his hands. The thumbnail of his left hand was bruised and angry looking.

    “What is it?” he said.

    “A skull.”

    He glanced at her, checking to see whether she was making a joke or not. She wasn’t.

    “I meant, what kind?”

    “A mouse I think.”

From my Honors Thesis/novella/soon to become a novel (maybe):

The girls picked wildflowers from the roadside, gathering them into purple and yellow bundles. Dandelions, pansies, and johnny jump ups grew in abundance. Alice liked the sunflowers best of all, but they were usually swarming with bees. Angela led the way through the little black gate while Tom trailed behind with Mary. The youngest had stopped to inspect a horny toad lounging in the sun. Its skin was brown and grey and covered in spiky nubs. Its fat belly spilled out from between its legs.

            “What did you find?” he asked.

            “This lizard.”

            “You mean horny toad.”

            “It looks like a lizard to me,” said Mary.

            “It is a lizard. But it’s called a horny toad.”

            “Why not call it a horny lizard?”

            The lizard scampered back into the brush. Tom picked up Mary and set her on his shoulders. “Maybe when you get older, that can be your job. Giving everything the proper name.”

I’m can only think of three offhand, but I know there are more of you!

1. Renee at A Quick Red Fox

2. Corey at Corey M.P.

3. Amanda at Rewriting Amanda

If you are writing a novel and would like to take this challenge, send me a link in the comments section!

Share the Post: