Engineer’s Log, September 9th 2014: 26,284 Words and a Boatload of Refinement!

"Asperatus Clouds Over New Zealand" by Witta Priester
“Asperatus Clouds Over New Zealand” by Witta Priester

Hello Dear Readers!

Last week, the combination of a working holiday weekend and a milestone birthday really impacted my available writing time. I ended up skipping the update to use that time to work on The Lost Tomb of Omo instead. I’m glad I did that, as it at least gave me a feeling of some progress in a tight week. I also did some much needed research related to Omo and that helped me flesh out some details in both my writing and the plot.

I did however tie to win a writing challenge on Reddit that week which took me very much by surprise! The timing was really grand because I had been feeling a bit down about my writing that day. It was a modified fragment from a story universe I started to construct over a year ago. Initially called The GARS Blog, I wrote 23,000 words of mostly background for it. It branched into a family of several plotted stories which I now refer to under the umbrella of the Exerverse of which The GARS Blog is now a part. It’s all definitely and very much on the back burner at the moment, but it was nice to revisit and use that material. It keeps the setting alive and “warm” to me and I would like to keep writing some (short to very short) Exerverse stories in the future.

Moving into this week… Things have been productive! I was able to devote some solid time to Omo on both days of my weekend in addition to the week. Beyond that, my positive experience with the writing challenge made me realize that working with something other than Omo for a short time helped me to take a break and creatively recharge while still writing. So I’m going to try another writing challenge this month as well with a short story I’m calling The Mission. I’ve written about 700 words for it so far, working off and on in short breaks from Omo. My target length is three to five thousand words at the most.

I got the first half (forty two pages or four chapters worth) of Kim’s feedback and edits on Omo allowing me to begin to incorporate her suggestions. I had some ideas and desire to improve and revise my first chapter for weeks now, so with her feedback I dove right in and made changes both suggested by her and of my own design. Things were tightened and filled out, and I really think I strengthened my language. When I was done on Saturday before meeting with friends that evening, I took a step back and really felt that it was a greatly improved and much stronger piece of writing… It was a good feeling of accomplishment to have.

Sunday had me up until one in the morning writing and editing chapters two and three of Omo. Five hours of sleep for eleven hours of work and commuting on Monday isn’t a lot, but it was worth it. Beyond suggested revisions, it was mostly fixing key parts to reflect some of the changes I manifested in the first chapter and then refining and expanding on wording that I felt was clunky and could be done better.

So as I write this update, The Lost Tomb of Omo sits at 26,284 words. That includes about 2,200 words of new work in an incomplete chapter ten, and a lot revision and refinement that doesn’t reflect in a word count measurement… It reflects in the quality of my words, and I can see the improvement.

Take care dear readers, and be well!



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