Writing status update

It’s been four weeks since my last update, and for once I have substantial progress to report.

The first few days of November, I started a new draft of The Alliance, the second part of the planned “Game of Life” sub-series. Because I managed only 500 words over the course of several days, rather than the nearly 1700 a day I would need to keep up with “National Novel Writing Month,” let alone the 2000 a day I had hoped to produce to give me a “head start,” I decided against formally attempting to “finish” (i.e. make 50,000 words) on that draft this month.

For many months, my outline of Earth’s projected future history has been the “blocker” that’s frustrated my hopes for working on the development of The Invasion, the first planned book in the “Game of Life.” Last month I said that ” I’ve finally passed the final milestone before that outline is finished; it’s only a hundred years, or about ten or fifteen “events,” short of the length I’m aiming for.” But about two and a half weeks ago, I realized that my “target” was about four hundred years later than I had intended, so instead of slowly adding events, I needed to significantly condense the “outline”—a much easier task. It’s now the proper “length,” so while I’m still not satisfied (the timing for the “Game of Life” sub-series gives way too long between each planned book), it’s no longer a “blocking” problem.

And so I quickly started working on the subsequent items in my Shine Cycle task list. The main accomplishment was that The Invasion is now (tentatively, but “entirely”) “outlined by sequence,” as is most of The Alliance.

I don’t know whether I’ll be able to keep up my current “velocity.” I doubt it, so I’ll only state a goal of half of what my task tracker predicts on the basis of a four-week average of which only two weeks were productive. Using that metric, before my next report‐which will be just before Christmas, I think, since next week I’m planning on writing my annual set of “year-end summary” posts, which will throw the usual schedule off—I hope to have

  • Re-polished “The Adventure of the Royal Wedding” enough that I’m willing to send it to volunteer readers,
  • Outlined at least most of The Stone of Power by sequence,
  • Finished at least the second arc in my long-delayed revision of the main timeline (dates and durations, not ordering),
  • Developed at least a handful of character histories (which are waiting on the timeline revision),
  • Written several hundred more words of actual prose, if not more, on either this Alliance draft or something else, and
  • Gotten the various versions of the task list in better shape as regards the non-imminent future.

We’ll see. But I’m more hopeful now than I was this time last month.

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