Writer in Motion - Week 4

Updated: Jul 11, 2019

The Second Drafts

A note from Jeni

This week, the authors self-edited their first drafts. It's amazing to see the changes the authors have made to such short pieces. It'd be easy to assume editing 500-1000 words wouldn't really be all that hard, but that isn't the case. Some of the authors posted detailed process explanations and screenshots with their tracked changes, which is wonderful! As a total nerd for the writing process, it's really cool to see how differently each writer approaches this.

Now the stories are in the hands of the critique partners, and next weekend, we'll see the revisions based on the feedback the authors give each other.

Remember the courage it takes to show what happens behind the curtain and keep encouraging the authors by leaving comments on their blogs and tweeting about their stories using #WriterInMotion.

Happy revising!


The Second (Self-Edited) Drafts

"The Witching Hour" by J.M. Jinks

The bell tolled on beat with my heart. One. Thump. Two. Thump. Three. Thump. On and on until it reached twelve. The witching hour.

I tugged the hood of my cloak lower and slid from the shadowed crevice I’d been hiding in, waiting for this moment. Read More...

"Joan" by Thuy Nguyen

He came to me on a midnight clear. An old man in a broken boat, rusted and screaming of tetanus. There was something odd about him—the way he seemed to light up from within, the way he floated across the splintered hull—as if he’d come from another time and place. Read More...

"Life and Death" by Sheri MacIntyre

Nora sat smoking in the window of her Gastown loft, her view of the street below cloaked by night and the rain streaking down the glass.

Was he out there watching? The man who’d drawn his finger across his throat in silent threat. Read More...

"Scorched by Dragon Fire" by K.J. Harrowick

Many years from now, when Khalon stood on the spot of his sister’s execution, he’d recall how the inside of a dragon stomach was still a worse fate than a hole in the head.

Ripped flesh leaked blood across his palm when he pulled his hand away from his gut. Read More...

"Space Cows" by S Kaeth

You huddled among the scraggly brush, your rasping breath loud in your ears. Around you the howls rose. Only a sandy stretch of barren land lay between your meager cover and the Drop Site. It waited, concealed in the rusting remains of a small ship which listed to starboard on a sandbank. Nothing the monsters could understand. Read More...

"The Desert Spirit" by Fariha Khayyam

The clinking of glasses and the gruffy voices of men filled The Boots Lounge.

The pub was dimly lit and smelled like beer, sweat and salt from the sea. It was located at the last corner of Old Town so both sailors and miners were the regulars you’d find at The Boots Lounge. Read More...

"The Seventh Warren" by Stephanie Whitaker

Water was a gift and a curse only Sahara could appreciate. Lifting the thin scarf to cover her face, she narrowed her brown eyes against the burning sand twisting through the air. Hooves pounded in the distance, kicking up a cloud of dust. Read More...

"Light My Fire" by Kristen Howe

Adrienne Sinclair sprinted past the sign for the Point Reyes Shipwreck. She headed to the charred fishing boat. What caused it to go aground? And who set it on fire three years ago, and why? That mystery had remained unsolved to this day. Read More...

"Blood Moon" by Paulette Wiles

A killer walked the streets of Marseille, but all Adeline cared about was having a smoke.

She lit a cigarette and took a long draw, resting her elbows on the window frame. Air channeled down the allée, pushing strands of cropped brown hair into her smudged eyes. Read More...

"Carly Saves the Kelp Kingdom" by Ellen Mulholland

I know how to drive a boat. If twelve’s old enough to babysit my annoying little sister Jeni, it’s old enough to take Dad’s sweet Knotty Jib into the harbor for midnight water donuts.

We glide smoothly through Armario Harbor as the moon shines like an alien flashlight Read More...

"Shadow of a Doubt (A Complex Kid)" by Sheryl Stein

Cami laid flat on the splintery park bench, her high, brown ponytail draped over the seat’s end. She inhaled the boardwalk perfume of tar, oily sausage, and fried zeppoles while staring at the sky. Pinpricks of white burst through the midnight blue Read More...

"The Clementine" by Megan Van Dyke

Today would be the day Jane’s dreams came true. She could feel the certainty of it in the thick, Florida humidity that wrapped around her like a warm blanket. Almost ten years ago to the day she’d first heard the tale of the lost ship Clementine and its hoard of stolen Spanish doubloons. Read More...

"Gloves" by Belinda Grant

Another box of twenty gloves arrived.

I walk to Doveton to pick them up and suffer under Max’s suspicious gaze. “What do you do with all those gloves?” He asks for the seventeenth time. What was I supposed to say? Read More...

Untitled by M. Dalto

If she tried hard enough, Adara could see the illumination of city of Gadiel in the distance, glimmering on the desert’s horizon.

But she wasn’t trying hard enough.

She wasn’t trying at all.

"Nowhere" by Melissa Bergum

Stars freckled Night’s sky. The only positive to this imprisonment is it’s forced me out of the hustle of human cities that compete against those twinkling marks on his face. I’d never tell Night how much I enjoyed this view. How it brought peace in this temporary solitude. He’d never let it go. Read More...

"Time to Mourn" by Kathryn Hewitt

Dirna finally found time. She left before dawn, knowing no-one would be around to ask her to solve any problems. The problems never ended. She sighed as she gave a quick glance to check the tunnel was deserted. She wrapped her wolfskin cloak tight to keep out the cave’s still coldness. Read More...

"Written in Sand" by Dawn Currie

This bay wasn’t like her bay. This one was sand and seagrass all shaped into mounds like a badly stuffed mattress. Home was all rocks, black ones slick with weed that would slip you under the waves in a heartbeat and huge grey ones further back where you could sit and watch the water Read More...

"Surviving Gravity" by H.M. Braverman

The stars shining over the old, abandoned boat twinkled as they spread the latest gossip. Theirs look like eternal existences in comparison to most, but this depends on your point of view. Time, it turns out, is a gravitational matter Read More...

"The Folly of Youth" by Susan Burdorf

What started as a dare soon became a test of courage and folly. The two are like sides of the same coin. Heads like courage and you win; tails like folly and you lose; a coin tossed in a contest to determine who throws the ball first, or… well, I know that all sounds a bit dramatic Read More...

Untitled by Ari Augustine

The first, true breath I take fills me with the blackest of water, and the remains of twilight. Sunset bleeds at the edge of the world, a marigold wound slowly swallowed by twinkling starlight and smoke and the biting chill of the sea. Currents chew me up and spit me out, roaring in my ears, clawing at my hair Read More...

Untitled by Jessica Lewis

My grandmother used to say, “there’s nothing water won’t fix.” Then she’d wink and whisper, “and if not water, a few nips a liquor’ll do the trick.”

Grandma’s word is gospel. That’s why I’m carrying a water bottle, an unopened bottle of prescription-strength sleeping pills, and apple-flavored Crown Royal. Read More...

"Swallow Sand" by Jen Karner

The Desert is a strict mistress. So long as you avoid the dunes, keep your engine running and keep your wits about you she won’t eat you alive.

But if you make a mistake…they’ll never find your body. Read More...

"MAD about the Boat" by Coffee Quills

…and people lived out here? Gale pinched her nose, defending herself against the cloying scent of sea muck highlighted with a rotten overture of dead and dying things. The beached boat in front of her was a vision of determination. Wooden strips had weathered and warped, now creaking a high-pitched hello Read More...

Untitled by Sean Willson

The seahorse wouldn’t leave Alora alone. It swam around her face and kept pecking at her neck. She batted at it a few times and missed. The little bites were starting to hurt. “What do you want?” she shouted. Read More...

Writer in Motion Week 1

Writer in Motion Week 2

Writer in Motion Week 3

Writer in Motion Week 4

Writer in Motion Week 5

Writer in Motion Week 6


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