As has become traditional on this blog, this last week of the Christian liturgical year will be given over to posts looking back over the past year on the blog. Today, a look back over the Shine Cycle worldbuilding and other background material that has appeared on Mondays throughout the year since last year’s year-end summary, and also an update on my plans now that the hiatus has come to an end and a report on my progress on the Shine cycle since my last status update.
First, our look back over the year that ends this week.
For awhile, almost every month I continued posting brief introductions to the books I’m planning for the Shine Cycle. I got through the end of the “main line” of the series and began covering the first and most-developed sub-series, but got no further. Specifically:
- Last December I wrote about Desperate Times, the third and last part of a “triptych” about a famous detective.
- In January I described An Internal Conflict.
- In February I wrote about A Calculated Wager, which covers the same time as An Internal Conflict, and also the “Dratted Campaign” stories.
- And in May, I began my more detailed coverage of the “Game of Life” sub-series with a précis of The Invasion.
I wrote a few posts describing places that parts of the Shine Cycle may be set.
- In December, the Sea Shield Isle, which will be important in Universe
- To mark Christmastide, I described Christmas in Capitol.
- In January, I finally described the Dragon Empire, the main adversary for much of the series.
- And In April, I re-imagined the New Roman Empire in response to reader criticism.
I posted a handful of character profiles:
- In January, a profile of Persephone, including an excerpt from my current draft of An Internal Conflict.
- In May, a profile of Windstorm of the Rivers Kingdom.
- And in August, a profile of Adelaide.
I also posted a couple of background posts drawn from my ongoing development of a future history of our world for use in my “Game of Life” sub-series, discussing genetic engineering and the Third World War.
Now that I’ve had some time to consider, here is my plan for the Shine Cycle side of this blog going forward. (I’ll explain my plans for the other departments in their own year-end summary posts later this week.) I now plan to write a “writing status update” and at least one other Shine Cycle-related post each month. And since I will no longer be trying to make one post in each department every week, I will no longer post Shine Cycle-related posts only on Mondays, but rather, if my intended schedule slips, post them when I have them.
Since my last status update, it’s been almost three months, and in retrospect—given the demands of classwork—my goals for “the next month” were more suitable goals for a three-month span than for a month.
Continue regular work on Shine Cycle development
Continued work, yes; regular work, no. The “volatility” of my Shine Cycle project in Pivotal Tracker, the task-management tool I use, stands at 104% right now. (What’s really somewhat sad is that only my “personal misc” project, which includes tasks for my Poetry Book and stands at 76%, and the project for my class this semester, at 49%, are any more consistent.)
Outline at least the rest of The Longest War by sequence.
Umm … no. I made a little bit of progress, but I don’t see myself finishing this even before the end of the year. Though I’ll try.
In fractalling the culture of the Empire and the Sunshine Kingdom, get at least halfway through the “Negative Identity” subsection.
This I actually more than accomplished; instead of merely getting halfway through it, I finished that section entirely. Though I don’t know how much I had done by the beginning of October.
Write at least two character histories.
This, too, I managed to meet, with four histories over the three-month period.
Write at least a hundred words of “actual prose.”
Utter failure on this point, as usual.
Because I hardly know what to expect regarding my schedule for the next month, I’ll keep essentially the same goals:
- Continue regular work on Shine Cycle development (the prerequisite for any substantial progress at all).
- Outline at least the rest of The Longest War by sequence.
- In fractalling the culture of the Empire and the Sunshine Kingdom, get at halfway through the “Reality” section.
- Write at least two character histories.
- Write at least a hundred words of “actual prose.”
And again, we’ll see.
My next status update will likely be combined with a civil-calendar-year-end summary post. But until then, do you have any thoughts?