short story, Uncategorized

Writer In Motion 2020: Initial Thoughts

Photo by Rahul Pandit on Unsplash

This is my second time participating in Writer in Motion, so for more background on that you can check out their page, or my retrospective summary of it here. Ok, with that out of the way, on to this year’s prompt.

When I first saw the photo prompt this year (seen above), my instinct was to listen to Folklore on repeat until a witchy, sapphic, horror story exorcized itself from my body. The only real question left was is this book about a curmudgeon leaving the chaos of the world for this distant cabin or a chipper somebody who finds this mountain dwelling grump and convinces them the world isn’t so bad and they should come back down the mountain. 

I’ve never actually never written anything witchy or horror and I’m sorry to inform anyone salivating for these ideas I’ve suggested thus far, but I continued brainstorming. I understand that short stories are your time to branch out and try something new. That’s what I thought at first too. But then I also thought, today is not that day. 

It was probably because, at the time of my brainstorming, I happened to be hiking up an obnoxiously uphill trail around the NY finger lakes region. Whoever decided waterfalls should be up high is the worst. That’s when I realized this story isn’t about the cabin and whether someone is coming or going from it. It’s about the journey up the mountain. 

Photos by me (2020). From left to right: Watkin’s Glen SP, Buttermilk Falls SP, and Chimney Bluff SP

This week happens to coincide with my wedding anniversary (hence painful excursions up mountains for something cute and romantic like a waterfall). Anyway, the hike reminded me of another impromptu hike up a mountain that Husband and I went on in Banff National park in Canada. The set up was perfect for a romcom short story.

Photo by me (2016) of the Lake Agnes Teahouse in Banff National Park

I ended up recasting the characters. Not that I’m not an amazing subject, but this was more fun with new characters. For my last WIM short story the two main characters were lovers to enemies in a fantasy pirate adventure, but for this one I’m looking at lovers to enemies and back to lovers again in a contemporary romcom.

I’ve already finished the first draft and plan on releasing it hopefully tomorrow (Aug 7). So get ready for a pessimist, a himbo, and a whole lot of references to Speed starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.

SPEED, Keanu Reeves, 1994, TM and Copyright (c) 20th Century-Fox Film Corp. All Rights Reserved


Writer in Motion – Looking back

Writer in Motion

Last year was my first time participating in Writer in Motion and its second year of existence. The purpose of the project is to write a short story (1000 words or less) in a month based on a photo prompt, and really show your editing process.

The first week, participants write and share a first draft, the second week is self editing, third week exchange your work with a critique partner, and fourth week either exchange again, or if you win the raffle (which I did!) you send your work to an editor before posting your final version. Each draft is posted on the forum so everyone on the internet can see how your story evolved and better understand who are plotters and who are pantsers and who are in between.

Prompt for WiM 2019. Image by engin akyurt from Pixabay

How did I get here?

I first heard about Writer in Motion through twitter, and decided I would participate. However, introvert that I am, I have a history of wanting to participate, but sitting on the sideline and watching when it was time to jump in.

To prevent this from happening again, I energetically entered the raffle to have my writing featured on the site and critiqued by a professional editor. This choice was quickly regretted when I won the lottery and now my amateur writing will be seen by many people who write for a living.

I enjoyed my time in this project, met some new and interesting people, found leads to resources to improve my craft, and I have a short story.

It’s looking like I’ll probably rewrite it again, but that is for the future. I’ll post it in short stories if/when that happens. In the mean time, here is a link to the final draft.

Aesthetic for La Capitaine, by Dani Frank

The Story

I opted for a fantasy adventure at sea for my short story, starring the big hearted but takes no crap, Capitaine Margot Toulouse and her ex(?) turned enemy Captain Guy Roberts.

For those interested in seeing my process but don’t want to navigate through the forum to find them, I have provided some quick links here: