It has, fair to say, been quite some time since I’ve posted one of these. So, for my newer readers, allow me to explain:
When I first established this page, I began putting up two weekly posts: Writer’s Desk, which posted each Sunday night, outlined my plans for the coming week. Then, on Friday night, the Weekly Update served as a round-up for all I’d accomplished over the previous week.
As my writing output slowed, however, the Weekly Update began to feel somewhat defeating, as essentially it served as my weekly confession to my readers that I’d accomplished very little of what I’d intended to over the preceding week. But now, as things are finally picking up again, I’ve decided to resume posting the weekly update. Part of good writing, after all, is accountability: much as is the case when setting any personal goals, when setting writing goals it’s important to hold oneself accountable. It’s motivational: each week, the Weekly Update forces me not only to take stock of what I’ve accomplished, but also to admit it to my readers.
Now that the introduction is out of the way, here’s how this week went:
It goes without saying that my primary focus this week was, once again, my debut novel. And I dare say it was a productive week.
Though I completed editing work on Wide Horizon Sunday night, I’ve come to realize that my work is not yet done. As I said in previous posts, while I feel very good about the expanded and rewritten passages, none of them have been thoroughly revised or proofread, and at least a few of them are still fairly rough. I had intended to begin a final read-through on Tuesday (after what I believed to be a richly-deserved day off). However, after spending the day plagued by nagging concerns regarding several sections (including a few I hadn’t reworked in editing), I decided to hold off on that. Initially, my plan was to combine the proofreading of the reworked passages with the read-through, but as I’d intended my final reading to be something of a personal victory lap, I felt it was better to get all of my revisions out of the way first.
While major work is indeed over, I’ve spent the past few evenings addressing these final concerns, tying up loose ends. One section was significantly trimmed down, as I felt it detracted more than added to the story, and I’m pleased to report my efforts led to the deletion of roughly 1,000 words of text. Beyond that, I’ve managed to revise four of the rewritten passages, mostly just editing for flow. All in all, I feel very good about what I’ve written, and I’m gratified to say that I’ve made few significant changes thus far.
This weekend work will continue: tomorrow I will likely be revising the final four passages that have been heavily reworked. One of the passages in question is in serious need of work: it was rough when I wrote it, and I know that. And all four occur either during the climax or the pivotal final chapters, so while most likely require only minor revision, I need to take my time and get this right.
If all goes well, however, I see myself being ready to start the final read by Monday morning at the latest.
I Am 1
As Wide Horizon once again occupied the bulk of my efforts, I wasn’t able to put in as much effort on short fiction this week as I’d hoped. However, I did manage to make some progress on one of the stories I’d tabbed.
As I’d said in this week’s Writer’s Desk, I Am 1 was originally a somewhat cheeky story, almost a farce, about an android attempting to hide his true nature while working in a corporate office. While I feel the story offers something original, I believe that in order to make it marketable I’ll need to produce something more compelling. This week I continued work on the main character’s backstory; the commentary on human behavior is now more background, interspersed with his recollection of how he escaped the lab in which he was created.
While I feel very good about what I wrote this week, the more new material I write, the more I realize this piece is far from being ready. In order to make it work, I’ll need to do some serious rearranging, which will take time. For now, I’ve decided it’s best to simply write the new sections, followed by the new ending. Once I have all the pieces, it should be much easier to decide what goes where.
Webpage Update: The Outer Universe
Keen observers may have noticed a few changes made to this website over the past week. Taking a cue from fellow WordPress members I’ve followed, I’ve decided my site deserved a better name than the generic “Kuester Writes”. I made this decision partially due to an intent to rebrand the site as not only a personal writing blog but also a sort of private literary magazine, offering periodic short fiction pieces and essays. In part, I’ve also done this as, sometime after the first of the year, I plan to change my domain from kuesterwrites.wordpress.com to michaeltkuester.com.
One piece of advice I’ve seen everywhere for writers is the need to take ownership of one’s name. Should I make a career of this, my name will become deeply associated with my work, and the last thing I’d want is for some enterprising fool to set up a website using my name. Now that Wide Horizon is all but complete and I feel I’m close to publishing at least one of my short fiction pieces, I feel the time has come.
I’ve been toying around with several other ideas to change the site, so don’t be alarmed if you notice a few things different upon your next visit. Fret not: it’s still me. But I feel at this moment I’ve begun to evolve as a writer, and that evolution necessitates a few tweaks to my online platform.
That wraps things up neatly, I should say. The next Writer’s Desk will be posted Sunday night, as I endeavor to return to a fixed schedule. Until then, keep reading, keep commenting, and as always, dare to dream.