For those just joining me, this summer I participated in the Writer in Motion program.
In Week 0, we were given a prompt to reflect upon.
In Week 1, we posted our inital, rough, unedited drafts.
In Week 2, we posted our self-edited drafts.
In Week 3, we posted edited stories after receiving feedback from assigned critique partners also participating in the progam.
During Week 4, we received feedback from a professional editor, and posted our final drafts.
This week is a reflective post. What did we learn from the program? What did we love or hate about it? How did it help us and how do we see it helping others?
Going back through, what the early week of Writer in Motion showed me is that I must do more on-the-fly editing than I thought. Keeping in mind that self-editing was for the next week, I actively kept myself from editing. Because of that, I ended up with a mess of a story since I didn't allow myself to erase things that I knew weren't working from the outset. And so, while I thought I believed in the "Write. Don't edit!" words on paper method of writing, it turns out I do not actually practice that method. When I'm "forced" or am trying to follow the rules of "no editing now, only edit later" I end up with everything on paper and it is a mess I despise.
This makes a lot of sense to me. I tend to believe in "clean first drafts." Therefore, my first draft must be edited as I go along. However, I have never gotten stuck in a first draft because I was editing too much. That's when the "write, don't edit" is required and comes into play.
A big difference this program had is that I require myself to step away from a short story for one week before going back to edit it. I did not have that luxury in order to stay on track for the program. Each week, we were to do some form of editing. I would normally let my edited version sit and be revisited with more time between edits before sending to critique partners (CP). I usually go through CP feedback more than I was able to. There are suggestions and questions my CP raised that I feel could be explored but I simply didn't have time to incorporate because I needed more space and percolation time to do it. Even thinking I'd add them in for the final version, ten days of percolating was not enough to implement those ideas in a coherent manner.
I am so glad Erin Fulmer tweeted about this program and I joined it. I wish there was slightly more time and space for writing, reflecting, and implementing feedback. But I also see how it's easier to forget to work on your piece and post it with a two-week interval rather than a one-week interval. I love that the program pairs with editors. Getting editorial feedback above the writers group is an experience I've not had on short work. I'm pleased I was able to get that experience before the stakes are for a story for paid publication.
I will definitely participate again, should Writer in Motion have another season.
Below is a selection of stories that were written for the program. It is not a complete collection and they are listed in no particular order. The genre and word count vary. Some are portions of novels. Many stories are posted for the program, but may be removed for market submission purposes.
In the Country of Shadow - Adria Bailton
Fire Season - Erin Fulmer [Short story]
Smoke - Cheyanne Monkman [Short story]
Smoke on the Water - Kristen [Short story]
The Looking Glass - Megan Van Dyke [Short story]
The Guarded - Amber Roberts [Short story]
Sulphur and Smoke - Meredith Crosbie [Short story]
Ravlenna's Fire - S.M. Roffey [Short story]
Half Past Chai (or Too Thoughtful for a Haunting) - Keir Alekseii [Portion of a novel]
Becoming the Storm - Stephanie Whitaker [Portion of a novel]
Read more at the Writer in Motion Forums.
Writer of spec fic.