This Writing Thing
Since I seriously began this writing endeavor in the summer of 2015, I've learned a lot about how much I can assimilate information. I've always been someone who dives into a new area of expertise and seeks to determine the best path forward. I've done that with my education, my time in the Navy, and my post-Navy career(s). I'm still pretty good at picking up a new skill. I'm not an incredible writer, but in the relatively short time I've been writing (no shit writing to be read), I'm better at writing and story structure. I'm also experimenting on myself in a lot of ways. I pick up books that discuss different aspects of being an author, attempt different ways to study the structure of writing, and just try different methods just enough to find something that works.
Objectively, my writing is cleaner, and my structure is cohesive and well-paced. That's what I've learned in the difference between the development edits from Fall to Earth to Apollo Burn. My outlines are more focused and my drafting process is faster. One notable difference between Apollo Burn over Fall to Earth is that I underwrote the story in the rough draft. This is something I wasn't sure I was doing when I wrote about the sequel update, but even with an outline, the full story may be incomplete in the rough draft. Since then, I've rearranged and worked out plot issues, but shed no more than 5,000 words and increased the overall word count by 10,000 words. As of this writing, Apollo Burn sits at the 97k mark, and I don't expect that number to change significantly. Compare that to Fall to Earth, which started at 157k words, needed to shed 75,000 words and have 50,000 words worth of new scenes written. Why? Because I wrote the story piecemeal and there was a lot to it except good structure. 125,000 words cut and added? That could've been the second novel, which is depressing. The thing about writing (as opposed to, say, operating a nuclear reactor) is that I don't have to know what I'm doing to start. I wouldn't have learned as much about writing if I had taken a classes beforehand. Readership will also punish you for screwing it up, which is a different story and something I seek to avoid.
Subjectively? Well, that's up to the readers to tell me if I'm going it right.