Writer in Motion 2021 – Wrap-Up and Final Thoughts

It’s that time again…the end of Writer in Motion Round 4 is upon us!

A group of seven children bow while singing "so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night"

Like last year, this year was a blast, but it definitely felt different the second time around. I feel like the five weeks of the challenge went extremely fast this year. Last year they seemed to last forever, like a long slow summer. But then again, last year was a weird kind of spacetime in every way imaginable. (Also, I was considerably less busy.)

I also know that last year, my story changed a lot more from week to week than it did this year. This year’s story resisted me. It resisted clarification and definition, it resisted contraction or expansion. My CPs and wonderful editor, Jo King, helped me refine it, but I’m not sure I was able to move it beyond vibes into an actual story.

I do think I got it to say something by the end, and I’m proud of it, though I think that The Witch of Blue Ridge said more, and in a more interesting way. However, I did notice some themes that the stories share: fire, and sacrifice, and willingly facing death. I didn’t intend both of them to have that aura to them…it just happened!

I loved watching other writers’ stories develop this year. Here are some of the final drafts posted so far:

Maya Darjani’s sci fi short The Stardust in Our Souls, about double meanings and immortality.

Adria Bailton’s In the Country of Shadow, an eerie story with a fairy-tale sound which reminds me of scapegoats and sin-eaters.

Meredith Crosbie’s Sulfur and Smoke, about a shapeshifter that is no ordinary werewolf or doppelganger.

Stephanie Whitaker’s Becoming the Storm, which I had somehow missed reading until now (how?!) about young people with stormy superpowers in a modern setting.

Amber Roberts’ The Guarded, about clouding one’s own mind to protect dangerous secrets.

Tesse Struve’s untitled story about a student whose special abilities disrupt the school science fair.

S.M. Roffey’s Ravlenna’s Fire, a tale of a woman with survivor’s guilt who finds herself courted by a god.

Kristin Howe’s Smoke on the Water, about a lighthouse and a smokin’ hot fireman.

Dani Frank’s La Capitaine Retourne, about the chance meeting of a pirate and a witch that seems like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Tenn’s The Confrontation, about a magical school and the dangers inherent therein.

JoAn Di’s Rough Seas, a historical vignette about an Earl determined to restore his father’s estates.

Dextermain’s Cloud Jumpers, about brothers playing in the clouds.

Thank you to each and every writer who shared your process during the event! It’s hard to be vulnerable and share your messy first drafts, but it’s powerful and so helpful to see how everyone builds upon each draft. I have so much respect for all of you.

Til next year, happy writing! And if I missed linking your story, please let me know in the comments and I will add it!

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