WIM R3: The CP Draft

Photo by Rahul Pandit on Unsplash

In Week 3 of Writer In Motion, we sent our self-edited drafts out to our first round of critique partners (CPs) and revised our stories based on their feedback.

I was very fortunate to be matched up with the talented Sara Bond and Dani Frank, whose stories may happen to be on the opposite ends of the emotional spectrum but on the same tier of fantastic! I loved their writing styles and am so grateful for their valuable insights on HOME improvement =) Here are some of their suggestions that I’ve incorporated into this latest revision:

  • Both loved the string metaphor at the beginning and end of the poem and thought it would make more impact if I could weave in more references throughout. You’ll see in my revisions where I threaded a few in =)
  • The tense shifts were jarring, so I changed the poem to past tense, with the exception of the last line. I kept that line in present tense to convey the image of the narrator being home, telling the tale of his journey
  • Some words didn’t translate well and could use better phrasing

Sara’s and Dani’s in-line comments made perfect sense to me, and I managed to make the changes while keeping my syllable count the same at 61 per stanza body, woohoo!

Since this piece is so short, the changes may appear subtle, but I definitely think they add a boost to this revision!


(502 words)

They took you from me that day.

 You left me behind and said your goodbyes, but the tears in your eyes told me it was never your choice to leave. Your face pressed against the car window and your voice calling out my name seared into my brain like a map leaving a trail for me to follow.

I ran away that night.

When all was dark and quiet and no one suspected a thing, I left behind what was ours to bring you back again. But where would I start? Where would I go? All I had was that memory of you in my head leading me along like an unraveled string.

I took to the roads.

Miles and miles of shiny black asphalt teeming with cars going far too fast for this old boy—I must admit it frightened me plenty. But I didn’t go back. I braved traffic and carried on, hugging the fragile yellow line that marked the shoulder to safety.

I saw the turn.

The knot formed deep in my gut roped me sideways, and I knew without a doubt that’s where they’d taken you. The woods loomed dense with evil, but for you I’d go, so I veered from steady lights and marched into darkness, wondering if I’d make it out alive again.

They found me.

They hunted me down no matter how carefully I stepped, for hungry beasts under moonlight sense fear like prey. Though old and weary, I clung to your strength through our woven bond to survive their wicked teeth and their whetted claws. But they left me barely standing.

I crawled.

I crawled through the mud and the muck and the uprooted trees to the stream I heard bubbling nearby like salvation. I drank from its bank to relieve my parched throat, but there was no relief for the gash in my side gushing blood, hot as lava. Was this the end?

I saw light.

The light everyone talks about when the time comes after a long life well lived, do you know it? It came for me from behind the trees atop the knoll like a beacon of hope, but I fought it like mad for I wasn’t yet ready. Not ’til I found you first.

I heard your voice.

It was your voice that came from that light, a lulling ebb and flow that sang to me like a lullaby I recognized from years ago. I followed your song to the top of that hill until my last thread of strength gave out, and I fell limp at your glowing door.

I heard you running.

It was really you behind the door, crying in disbelief, tears pouring down your face like a rushing waterfall. You wrapped your tiny arms around my filthy matted fur and whispered words of love, mending every wound on my tired broken body.

Then you tucked me in 

Like the end of a string,

Making our reel whole again,

And with you, I’m finally home.

I’ll be sending this version to my second round of critique partners and processing their feedback in next week’s post. As always, thanks for following along â¤ï¸

If you’d like to find out how other Writers In Motion handle and apply CP feedback, head on over to the Writer In Motion official blog and forum and check out their amazing progress!

Share this:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *