It’s the fourth and final week of #WriterInMotion — a month-long effort to write/edit a 1,000 word story while sharing the process on my blog. This week I had the pleasure of working with two more critique partners. Logistics were more challenging this week, as I was out in the country for some end-of-summer-break, socially distanced R&R. With many distractions and pretty much no internet. Hence my “week four” post is a bit late, and for that I apologize.
I was thrilled at the chance to critique “Space Goats” by S. Kaeth, which I’d seen in an earlier iteration and found enormously entertaining. Turns out I’d also read an early version of Sara T. Bond’s “To Remember Her By” — which features some cool DNA tech — and enjoyed seeing how much it had evolved. I liked both stories and offered some admittedly-minor feedback; at this point in the game, most stories are fairly well polished.
Both of them also provided thoughtful critiques of my story (“The Watcher in the Vale”). Both were quick to point out that I still had some tense inconsistencies in the opening paragraph. Sara gave me some lovely character notes and got me thinking about ways to give the MC a bit more presence. Meanwhile, S. Kaeth proved an expert trimmer, helping me cut at least 20 unnecessary words.
I like the new version a lot. In fact, I liked the whole process a lot. The visual prompt worked well for me; a story started coming together almost as soon as I saw it. The weekly schedule was manageable. Granted, I wasn’t on deadline most of the time — I did get my copy edits for Domesticating Dragons month, but they were light — so I was able to devote the time.
My only regret is that I wasn’t able to spend more time in the forums and on Twitter interacting with the other #WriterInMotion participants. On the bright side, I did get to interact with three other SF/F writers via peer critique. I’ll have to see if I can find a way to keep those conversations going. Overall it was a lovely experience and I hope to participate in the next one. If you’re reading this, you should, too! Check out the WIM website or follow @WriterInMotion on Twitter for details.
This is normally the part where I’d post the full text of my story in its fourth and final iteration, but I’m not going to do that just yet. Doing so would constitute publication as far as most SF/F magazines are concerned. I like this story enough that I’m going to send it to a couple of places to see if there’s any interest. If nothing comes of that, I’ll make it pretty for publication here on the blog.
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