Day 2: 30 Day Writing Challenge


In 250 words or less, write without any -ing verbs
(Or, to use the grammatical term, without any gerunds)

I use way too many gerunds in my writing. It’s just a habit I picked up somewhere. I suppose you could call it my “style”. So instead of creating a short piece of micro-fiction, I thought I would edit a paragraph from one of my unfinished stories and eradicate those pesky gerunds. Here goes:

Nora turned around and leant against the counter. She heard Cam shout to one of his co-workers. A woman with a ring through her nose and a scowl on her face took Cam’s place behind the espresso machine. There was an almost tangible slump of disappointment from the women in the line. Nora smirked as she watched the people move in and out of the café. Business types, artsy types, school-age types, mum types, and one or two oddball types.

And then there was him. He glared at the newspaper as though it had insulted his mother. He hadn’t noticed the girls in the booth to his right, who seemed to sigh every time he raked his dark hair back from his face. He still hadn’t gotten that haircut. She was glad. He looked like Matt Smith’s incarnation of the Doctor. Not that she would ever tell him that. He never understood her fascination with Doctor Who, no matter how many nights she forced him to watch it.

The line for caffeine looped around Nora as she stood there, fascinated by his complete obliviousness to his surroundings. He had flipped the newspaper over and his glare had morphed into a faint look of triumph. Sports. Nora would take science fiction any day. At least it made some kind of sense. She mentally shook herself and realised that he had pulled out his phone to check something. The booth girls watched from underneath their eyeliner as he bent over his phone, his fingers making almost audible tap-tap-taps as he typed. Moments later, there was a whistle and a vibration from Nora’s shorts pocket.

Final word count: 272

I might go back and take out all of the gerunds I use in all of my fiction now. Having to come up with unusual ways of expressing myself led to some descriptions I may not have thought of. Food for thought. Bring on tomorrow’s challenge!



About Bec Graham

Bec Graham, 24, was born on the wrong continent. Everything from her burns-like-paper skin tone to her inability to cope with the slightest hint of a hot day suggests she should have been born under the gloomy skies and mild sun of the UK. She hopes writing will get her to her rightful home one day. Failing that, she scans the skies for a spinning blue police box, hoping to catch a lift back to the motherland.
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