Updated: Jul 13, 2019
A note from Jeni:
We've finally reached the end of our revision session! Our writers began with an inspirational image and drafted their first copy of a short piece of writing, followed by several rounds of edits--self-revision, critique partner revision, and, finally, editor revision courtesy of Carly Hayward of Book Light Editorial, Maria Tureaud and Justine Manzano of CraftQuest, and myself.
This week, our writers took notes from their assigned editors to finalize their short pieces, and If you haven't already, we hope you'll take time to peek through each round of revision so you can see the changes one piece of writing can go through during the editing process, and how that differs slightly from professional editing. We hope this series has shown you a thing or two you can use in your own writing to turn your rough first draft into the polished perfection you need and deserve.
Next week, we'll wrap up with final thoughts from each of our writers, but for now, please enjoy the final versions of these incredible pieces of writing!
The Final Drafts (after critiques from The Editors)
"Carly Saves the Kelp Kingdom" by Ellen Mulholland Editor: Carly Hayward
All I want’s a little adventure, and the Knotty Jib is perfect for one. It’s zippy engine and slender form cut the water like diamonds through glass. Dad says so.
He isn’t out here with us tonight, but if twelve’s old enough to babysit my annoying sister Jeni, it’s old enough to take his sweet KJ out for moonlight water donuts. Our neighbor takes his family boat out, and he’s eleven. Read more...
"Blood Moon" by Paulette Wiles Editor: Jeni Chappelle
June 10th, 1923
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 and leaning out. Air channeled down the Rue du Panier, pushing strands of Adeline’s cropped brown hair into her kohl-smudged eyes. Read More..,
"Written In Sand" by Dawn Currie Editor: Maria Tureaud
This wasn’t her bay. This one was sand and seagrass all shaped into hillocks like a badly stuffed mattress. Home was all rocks, black ones slick with weeds that would slip you under the waves in a heartbeat, and huge gray ones further back where you could sit and watch the water if there was no work to do. Read more...
"The Clementine" by Megan Van Dyke Editor: Justine Manzano
Jane ran her hand along the chunk of coarse wood on the table, the first piece they’d dug up. Aged. Weathered. Testing at the university lab marked it for the right time period. It gave them the evidence needed to greenlight their permits and approvals for further excavation.
She bit her lip to hide the grin threatening to spread across her face. Read more...
"Light My Fire" by Kristen Howe Editor: Jeni Chappelle
Adrienne Sinclair sprinted past the Point Reyes Shipwreck sign and headed to the charred fishing boat. She snapped a shot with her Iphone’s camera to capture the moldering beauty of the landmark against the starry night. The Pacific Ocean lapped in the distance, carrying its secrets with seaweed and seashells in the foamy tide.
Her sturdy boots clunked on the deck. She shone her penlight around the splintered wood from aft to starboard and flicked on the blacklight feature. A path of faded dried blood led to the galley. Read more...
"Time to Mourn" by Kathryn Hewitt Editor: Carly Hayward
Dirna hated going back. During the war there hadn’t been time for anything but survival. But she needed to honour her oldest friend’s life. She wrapped her wolfskin cloak tight to keep out the cave’s coldness as she followed the glow-worm’s light. Not that she needed their guidance—she’d created these tunnels.
She emerged by the river, gasping at the icy wind. Read more...
"Life and Death" by Sheri MacIntyre Editor: Justine Manzano
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.
She’d seen a lot from her window seat, but never a murder. Until today. And the killer had seen her, too.
Was he out there now, watching? Waiting?
His face stared up from the sketch pad in her lap. The detectives had said a forensic artist wasn’t available until morning, and she didn’t trust her memory. She’d picked up her charcoal the minute her hands stopped shaking. Read more...
"Surviving Gravity" by H.M. Braverman Editor: Jeni Chappelle
If anything can survive an apocalypse, it is the cockroach. According to humanity, they are practically immortal. Rolf wasn’t keen on becoming the exception. Bob, on the other hand, imagined condemnation from the cosmic collective above. The light of an individual star is swallowed by the darkness…the litany danced through his mind as he dashed from shadow to shadow Read more...
"Fire and Whiskey" by K.J. Harrowick Editor: Carly Hayward
Captain Khalon Riyath held a hand to his gut’s ripped flesh, hankering for a shot of whiskey. Blood leaked against his palm. He ignored the pain and stumbled across a wasteland of rock and broken machinery. Shit, he might die today.
His fault, of course. He’d picked a fight with the wrong bastard, one of his award-winning traits. “I just had to insult his mother.” Read more...
"The Witching Hour" by J.M. Jinks Editor: Jeni Chappelle
The bell tolled on beat with my heart. One. Thump. Two. Thump. I had mere moments to reach the shore before the clock would strike twelve and the boat would depart. On 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.
Three. Thump. Read More...
"Desert Wind" by M.B. Dalto Editor: Justine Manzano
She wasn’t trying to find the city.
Just as she knew the city wasn’t looking for her.
If she looked hard enough, Adara could see the illumination of the city of Gadiel in the distance, glimmering on the desert’s horizon. Read more...
"Gloves" by Belinda Grant Editor: Maria Tureaud
Another box of fifty gloves arrive.
I walk to Doveton and pick them up under the Post-worker’s suspicious gaze.
“What do you do with all these gloves?” It’s the same question he asks every week.
What am I supposed to say? I give a bland smile and flee, holding the box to my chest. As if I could hide behind such a flimsy thing. Read more...
"Saudade" by Ari Augustine Editor: Jeni Chappelle
Each breath I take fills me with the blackest water, and the taste of blood. Air bubbles rise to the surface as I reach out, the metal rivets of my knuckles aching from the cold liquid surrounding me. My wooden fingers curl around the empty space where your hand was moments before.
It was only moments before you had hoisted me over the side of the boat and cut the line between us with a rusted blade. Read more...
"Shadow of a Doubt (A Complex Kid)" by Sheryl Stein Editor: Justine Manzano
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–which pushed the indigo, which in turn squashed a tiny sliver of lavender down below the horizon line, drowning it in the black of the ocean. Read more...
"Joan" by Thuy Nguyen Editor: Jeni Chappelle
He came to me on a midnight clear. An old man in a broken boat, rusted and bitten by the sea. There was something odd about him—the way he seemed to light up from within, the way he floated across the splintered hull. Otherworldly. As if he’d come from another time and place. His crimson cloak fluttered in the salty breeze Read more...
"The Seventh Warren" by Stephanie Whitaker Editor: Maria Tureaud
Water was a gift and a curse only Sahara could appreciate.
She lifted the thin scarf to cover her face and narrowed her brown eyes against the sand caught in a sweltering gust of wind. Hooves pounded in the distance, drawing nearer. With a grunt, Sahara stuffed a few escaped golden locks back under her veil, concealing her unique appearance. If it hadn’t been for the demands set upon her, she wouldn’t have fled. Read more...
"Regret in the Desert of Ages" by Jen Karner Editor: Carly Hayward
The desert is an unyielding mistress. Avoid the dunes, keep your engine running, your wits about you, and she won’t eat you alive. But if you make a mistake…nobody will ever find your body. I thought I was different. Capable of surviving anything she threw at me.
But maybe I was wrong. Read more...
"Space Cows" by S. Kaeth Editor: Jeni Chappelle
You lie among the scraggly brush, your rasping breath loud in your ears. Roars shatter the night, closing in around you. Sandy, barren land stretches between your meager cover and the Drop Site, concealed in the rusting remains of a small ship listing to starboard on a sandbank. Nothing the monsters can understand.
Breaking cover, you lunge for the derelict. The packed sand crumbles beneath your hooves as if plotting with your pursuers to slow you down. You stumble, pattering a staccato beat. The scent of your own fear clogs your flaring nostrils. It’s a wonder the monsters don’t smell it too. Read more...
"Nowhere" by Melissa Bergum Editor: Carly Hayward
Stars freckled Night’s sky. At least this imprisonment forced me out of the hustle of human cities that competed against those twinkling marks on his face. I couldn’t tell Night how much I enjoyed this view. How it brought peace in this solitude. He’d never let it go, or he’d blush, igniting the sky with more stars than he’d space for. Tempting.
Surprisingly, this was my first time relegated to Nowhere. A special kind of hell for us non-humans in a detached realm. Read more...
"The Desert Spirit" by Fariha Khayyam Editor: Jeni Chappelle
The clinking of glasses and the gruff voices of men filled The Boots Lounge. It was dimly lit and smelled of beer, sweat and salt from the sea. Sailors and miners in their uniforms the color of the sea or earth were regulars at the pub on the last corner of Old Town, which was at the south end of the west coast. It used to be the heart of the peninsula, before trade with the main continent led to New Town’s establishment in the north.
Unusual folks also frequented the pub. Recently a lady clad in a grey suit had walked in and won all the poker hands, leaving none the wiser. And she was never to seen again. The pub regulars didn’t speak about the fact that she had horns—real horns. Read more...
"Humanity's Deep Blue Warning" by Sean Willson Editor: Jeni Chappelle
The seahorse wouldn’t leave Alora alone. It darted about her face and pecked at her neck. She batted at it a few times and missed. The little bites stung.
“What do you want?” she shouted only to realize she’d fallen asleep on duty again. Last time, her boss warned her not to let it happen again or they’d banish her to the caverns.
Unfurling its tail, the seahorse dropped a small shell into Alora’s lap and skittered away. She picked it up and furrowed her brow at its deep blue sheen and intricate yellow stripes. Read more...
Writer in Motion Week 6
Writer In Motion Header Credit: KJ Harrowick