Shine Cycle: 2013 review, 2014 goals

We’re nearing the end of the civil year. Since I did my year-end retrospectives, including the one on the Shine Cycle at the end of the liturgical year, before Advent, this week I’m looking back at whether I met the goals I set last year, and forward to the civil year to come.

I looked at the “poetry” and “miscellaneous” departments on Saturday; today it’s time to look at the Shine Cycle. But first, a software-development goal that’s relevant here.

Worldbuilding Program Development

I’ve long felt that some of my problems (largely of scale) in developing the Shine Cycle could be made much less difficult by the use of better software tools—tools which apparently don’t yet exist, as I’ve explained in several of my “unwritten program” essays.

But I recently (finally) had some thoughts as to how to go about writing one such tool, addressing the need I feel most acutely. So:

Goal: Write a “timeline program” that meets enough of my needs for me to use it (nearly) exclusively for managing the history of the world in which I write.

Shine Cycle

My only stated goal was

To get “back on track” with outlining, and get to the end of the saga in the current pass.

I’d say I’m now “back on track,” but I’m not really all that close to “the end of the saga” in my current pass through the outlines. So, failure. But because I think that this will be not-too-difficult if I can maintain anything like my current pace, we’ll repeat this goal for next year:

Goal: In my iterative outlining, get at least to the end of the saga in the current pass.

My only stated “stretch goal” was

To get at least halfway (probably 50,000 words or so, but I’ll use the outline to assess this unless the story diverges too much) through a draft of one of the (intended-to-be-novel-length) stories I’ve done at least preliminary planning for.

Utter failure. The closest I got, I think, was a few hundred words in my “trial balloon” for NaNoWriMo.

But I still think it was possible, and since the next thing after outlining is writing, I need to develop the necessary habits, so we’ll leave this as a “stretch goal” again for next year:

Stretch Goal: Get at least halfway (probably about 50,000 words, but assessed using the outline if the story turns out to be significantly shorter than that would indicate) through a draft of one of the (intended-to-be-novel-length) stories I’ve done at least preliminary planning for.

And I’ll add some more goals having to do with worldbuilding and other pieces I’ve added to my method:

Goal: Finish “the timeline revision.”

Stretch Goal: Write at least six character histories.

Goal: Have at least a tentative logline for every story or planned story or volume in the Shine Cycle, for each sub-series, and for the series as a whole.

Goal: Have at least one “polished” logline.

Stretch Goal: Complete the “snowflake method” for at least one story or planned story.

Goal: Have at least a general outline (what I call a “super-sequence” outline) for every planned story.

Goal: Sort out “POV assignments” for every planned story.

Goal: Finish the “race fractalling system” for at least one race from the Shine Cycle.

(That may not happen even if I keep up a fast pace, if the first relevant items in the task tracker are too far out. But if my pace slackens, there will be no excuse.)

Stretch Goal: Finish the “culture fractalling system” for at least one Shine Cycle culture.

Any thoughts? Writer friends, do you have any goals for the coming year?

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