Shine Cycle Outline, Call for Ideas

One glaring omission from this blog so far, and from any site I’ve created devoted to the Shine Cycle, my fantasy series, is any sort of outline or plot summary of the series as a whole. This is not because I don’t have such an outline (in fact, I wrote a version of the “Outline of History” of that world in seventh grade, when I had only thought of one or two of the planned novels), so in this post I hope to rectify that omission.

Before I begin: All of this may be subject to revision, and I welcome your comments, criticism, or suggestions. I recognize that my judgment might be suspect; if you have any thoughts, please let me know!

So far, I organize the history of the world of the Shine Cycle into three main arcs.

  • The first arc runs from the creation of the world to the Sunshine Kingdom’s civil war (around the year 90). In that period Vaynaheim is the most influential Good world power, while after the Sunshine Civil War the Sunshine Kingdom (and, later, the Shine and Wild Empire that formed under its leadership) takes that role.
  • The second arc runs from then until the death of Primrose in the beginning of the War of Power, in the year 254.
  • The third arc continues indefinitely thereafter.

(As an aside, I’ll explain how that three-act structure developed. When I created the outline in a creative writing class in seventh grade, I divided it into two parts—how and why exactly I don’t recall, and my files from that period seem to have gotten corrupted, so I can’t read it and find out—but after extending the second act farther and farther with new ideas as I grew older, I conceived of the War of Power, which would be a natural division.)

On some Mondays in the coming weeks I’ll expand that brief outline into greater detail, summarizing the events of each book in the main series I plan to write in each arc.

But before then, there are a few “sub-series” of the Shine Cycle that bear further discussion now. These take a single item on the main outline, or a series of battles in a very long war, and expand them into (what I plan to be) multi-novel series of their own. But I’m having a little imagination-failure trouble for once, so I thought I’d ask you, my readers, whether you have any ideas.

The first sub-series is the “Alternate Universes” series. Jon Royal, the protagonist of Sunshine Civil War, is summoned home in the beginning of that novel from the court of King Arthur.

But Camelot is only the last of his adventures “on errantry” (or “while questing”); he visits Earth a few times, and a few other worlds that will be significant later in the main series, but he mainly goes through “alternate universes”—Earths where some significant event had gone differently, or some fictional world. In all I’ve thought of about eleven places he could go, but I’d hoped for a lot more ideas than that, so I’d have a better selection to choose from. Can you think of any public domain SF universes (or more recent ones you would like to volunteer, and you could give the necessary permission for), or alternate-historical scenarios, it’d be interesting to explore?

The second sub-series is what I call the “Game of Life” series. (That title comes from a theme I began in previous drafts.) There are ten “battles” in the Second Inter-universal War fought on Earth, as the Dragon Empire’s nominal second-in-command repeatedly journeys to Earth and tries to conquer it.

The first novel (one of the few books I have a somewhat-passable partial draft of), The Invasion, has the starting premise that Earth’s scientists have used genetic engineering to create something that looks and functions like legendary descriptions of werewolves, and the villain, Gondolor, steals this invention. I have a similar premise (that I will probably discard altogether) for the second novel, The Alliance, but I have nothing but titles and perhaps a very little old (execrable) prose for two more and nothing at all for the remaining six novels. Can you think of any premises, narrative hooks, or other ideas for any of the eight or nine Battles of Earth?

The third “sub-series” is another ten battles in the Second Inter-universal War, called the “Battles of High Powers.” I have a premise and a beginning and ending sequence (that I’ll probably discard) for the first, but nothing more. Any ideas?

Thanks for reading.


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