Writer in Motion Week 1 Initial Draft


 ​The prompt was revealed on July 9.

On July 10, I wrote 24 words: “I am made of smoke and dreams and things you don’t want to see in the mirror.I live in the country of shadow.”

After a particularly frustrating day job work day, on July 14, I wrote more words, ending my evening with 487. I still wasn’t sure my plot, but the repeating I miss you. I love you. Let me go.​ introduced itself.

​Of course, once I called it for the night, I went to bed and immediately came up with more of the story. First thing the next morning, I wrote more, filling out a bit more.


​I’m a circular writer. I write in spirals even though my stories are told in a line. At low enough word counts, and usually if I write the full thing in one sitting, I will write through and then my spirals can be reclassified as “filling out.” But, filling out to me means to enhance something that exists, not create an entirely new arc, plot, or even interaction between characters. For me, filling out has often to make more for the reader, not for the story. 

Next week

Today’s draft is not a finished draft, and it is very, very rough. It is 654 words. It is both too short and too long. 

Normally, I wait a week before editing shorts. I won’t have that time. I have some tense issues. I already see things I wish to cut, the chorus for one. And I need to fill the story out quite a bit, to edge closer to the 1000 word limit and to round it out for the reader.

In the Country of Shadow


After posting, I edited to add the prompt image and some links.

Adding these more thoughts, just for transparency. I would never post or submit this story. In fact, this story fought me so much, if it weren’t for this program, I would not have written it. The story feels too influenced from others, despite me trying not to read other people’s responses to the prompt. 

Links to Other Writer in Motion Stories

I learned about Writer in Motion from Erin Fulmer. Here’s her unedited first draft
Keir Alekseii livestreamed her writing, which is a cool idea. View the video and result here
Mel Grebing was inspired by the prompt and posted their story as well.

Enjoying all these stories? View all the participants at Writer in Motion Week 1: The Messy First Draft.

2 responses to “Writer in Motion Week 1 Initial Draft”

  1. “But the mistakes followed me like a trail of ants, crawling up and down my body.”

    *shudders* that image is so visceral and original. I absolutely love it. This is gorgeous and lyrical. Also found your description of your circular writing process super interesting!

    • I agree, Erin, that line is soooo good. I also really liked the writing about the process, because that’s what this is all about!

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