LOOK at THAT! A Challenge to Writers

Well, because of a challenge I was tagged in today I came to realize I used the word LOOK 173 times in my latest WIP. That’s not so bad, is it? Speaking of THAT. I also gathered up the courage to search that word in the manuscript. That word is my kryptonite.

How many thats does it take to write 46,478 word manuscript, you ask? You had to ask, didn’t you!?

457 to be exact.

I can live with my looks. Yes, I’m not going to feel bad about my looks AT ALL. But I do have to confess…a beta reader already discovered my tendency to overuse look. So, I spent most of August slaying that dragon. What LOOKs like a reasonable look usage is actually a corrected look usage, so don’t feel bad if you discover a few hundred more in your manuscript than what I found in mine.

Now, on to the CHALLENGE, and what it means.

Thank you to the lovely CATHY OLLIFFE-WEBSTER for poking me for this challenge. I don’t know how I’ll get her back, but I know I WILL. I don’t know how I will thank her, but I’ll find a way.


How can one stay mad at someone with a smile like this? Also…how can someone NOT laugh to discover her photo file name is MY HEAD.

Now, the challenge is to not only find the LOOKs in your current WIP, but to also post the paragraphs around the word. I guess this kind of gives you the option to choose any three paragraphs in your WIP to post. (-:

Here’s the one I chose:

Trig is pretty awesome. He’s my best friend. He and I go back a long way. When I finally make it to my chem lab, he’s sitting in his seat giving me the eye. He knows something has happened. He has this look on his face like he’s gonna kick the shit out of someone and he just needs me to give him a name and he’ll be gone. But I silently slide in beside him, with my head down. Better not to look him directly in the eye.

“What the fu—” he whispers.

“Mr. Fripp. Is there a reason you’re joining us rather later than usual today?” Ms. Mendel interrupts from the front of the class, causing my face to bloom red. “Is that a late slip in your hand?”

I look at my empty hands, puzzled. “Um, no ma’am,” I begin. My voice wavers and cracks all over the place. Like usual. “Sorry, ma’am. I was—”

That’s part 1. Part two of the challenge is to victimize pick 5 new writers to take the challenge. (-:

Here are my 5 (That sounds familiar. I wonder if Rogers can sue me for using that terminology. Have at it.):

JOCELYN ADAMS who is awesome. Click on the book cover to start exploring her stuff on Goodreads:

Victim #2 – This person is my nemesis and my mentor and my hero. I would probably have a fencing comp. with her, just to poke her in the eye…but we would make up RIGHT away. I hope!

PAT FLEWWELLING is the bomb. This I know. Here she is, the nine day wonder herself!

I know she’s going to sue me, because there’s copyright stuffs all over her most fabulous picture and yet I willy-nilly kidnapped it.

Now, who should I put on the spot NEXT?! I know…because I love her. The earth Momma herself…my MNM Guardian Angel, Susan Blakeney. Here’s Susan’s DOT COM right here.

And here’s her smile:

The one who holds us all together.

That’s 3, right? Right. Shellie is so very nice that I sincerely hope this is something she would like to be roped into included in. Otherwise, I’ll feel bad. (-;  Shellie…time to LOOK! Am I allowed to play hardball here? Because to the best of my knowledge, Shellie Yaworski does not yet have a blog. I’ll tag her so she knows she’s being challenged, though. Maybe she can let me know where her undercover blog is…or, maybe, you know…start one. What I really love about Shellie is that she has no idea how bloody fantastic her writing is. Thanks to the READING NIGHT at the MNM, there’s a roomful of people who know how proud she has a right to be. (-:


Okay…so by my count that’s 4 people tagged. My 5th and final tag…not an MNM person. This is someone from the WCDR whose blog I follow. She’s a lovely person whom I would like to share with the rest of my world. (-:

MARY E. MCINTYRE, both an inspiration and a supporter of her fellow WCDR members. And a great read, too…if you’re looking for a new blog to follow.


SO — Okay, so the one thing YOU FIVE have to know is this: You will all fall prey to spontaneous combustion if you don’t look after your LOOK CHALLENGE within 48 hours. GO!

By Kevin Craig

Author, Poet, Playwright. Author of The Camino Club, Billions of Beautiful Hearts, and Book of Dreams, all from Duet Books, the LGBTQ Young Adult imprint of Chicago Review Press. Other books: Pride Must Be A Place, Half Dead & Fully Broken, Burn Baby Burn Baby, The Reasons, Sebastian's Poet, and Summer on Fire.


  1. You know when people LOL and usually they’re not even smiling, never mind laughing? Well, Mr. Craig, I am literally laughing my lily white arse off here. “My head.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
    Omigawd… And if that wasn’t enough, then your cutline under Pat’s photo made me laugh even harder.
    You are too funny. Also tremendously talented. LOVE your snippet. Definitely makes me want to read MORE!!!!!!!

  2. Honestly, you put me to shame, sir. I haven’t even had a chance to LOOK at my manuscript. Once I get to LOOK, be sure that I will LOOK over it with a trained eye to pick out all the words LOOK. I also want to thank Cathy for picking me in the first round! Cheerio!

  3. Well, look at that! That’s another interesting blog for me to look at. Look, it’s not that I have certain words like “look” and “that” that I have to look out for. It’s just that I can’t look at another blog today. And that is that. Thanks Kevin for my smile today.

  4. I totally will not sue you for copyright infringement, because you didn’t scrub out Cass’ copyright at the bottom of the pic, so it’s all good. I will, however, be sure to introduce you to a pair of (blunted) daggers in July. Just ’cause. But you do make me blush a lot!

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