Writing Prompt Story Starter: Solo Runner

story starter

This week’s Story Starter is a complete contrast to last week’s atmospheric, dimly-lit staircase: the green sward of a public park.

Can you see the solo runner? He’s in blue, at one o’clock in relation to the tree in the foreground.

If ever an image captured the “loneliness of the long-distance runner” . . . That whole park and there’s not another soul in sight.

I actually kind of like the idea that he echoes the loneliness of the grass-cutter, who was evidently out the day before, driving back and forth, sweeping round in his curves.

I imagine him singing little songs to himself. Something in waltz time. Or maybe he was listening to a terribly serious podcast. About anything but gardening.

Back to the runner. The usual questions. Who is he? Does he do this every day? Is he in training for his first marathon — or 5K?

Or simply trying to get, or keep, fit? Is he getting fit to impress someone in particular?

I think it would be more satisfying if he’s doing it for himself. Turning over a new leaf, finding a new lease of life. I hope so.

Maybe he runs as an escape.

Who will he encounter along the way? And I mean that metaphorically as well as literally.

New writers

I blogged recently about the excitement we feel when we sign up new writers, and I get a similar sort of satisfaction from a writer telling me that their story has been inspired by one of these images.

I actually experienced a double whammy that marvellous week, because one of them told me her story was prompted by a Story Starter picture from a while back.

It’s over to you.

All story lengths welcome, but do be mindful that writers will always submit more 2000-word stories than we can ever publish.

If you’re keen to try another Story Starter, then click here.

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.