Writing status update (#33)

It’s been a little over a month since my last update. The first couple of weeks weren’t very productive at all for the sort of writing I mean when I just say “writing,” as I sort of expected, but the last three have been increasingly but inconsistently productive. I could describe what I did in detail and chronological order, but it’s probably better to primarily compare my progress to the goals I set for myself last month.

As you may recall, I tend to divide my Shine Cycle development time between “plotting” (outlining, assigning point-of-view to characters, and eventually the actual writing), “worldbuilding” (using questions created by Patricia Wrede I found years ago, a “Deep Cultural Fractalling System” and “Race Fractalling System” I found on Holy Worlds, and—mistakenly, but the classification has stuck and keeps progress moving faster—creating loglines and doing “snowflake outlining”), and “characters” (creating character histories, biographies, and descriptions.

  • Continue regular work on Shine Cycle development (the prerequisite for any substantial progress at all).

I’ll actually count this as a partial success. The two weeks of minimal progress were the week in which my class ended (requiring far more “crunch” than I like but actually somewhat less than I was beginning to fear) and I drove up to Evart for the dulcimer festival, then the next week was a week of recovery from all that exertion.

For the same reason, combined with the way I set up tasks in my task tracker months if not years ago so that things I didn’t expect when planning a month come up for me to do, I’m counting most of my results below as “partial credit.”

I have concepts for four of them, and created a super-sequence outline for one.

  • Answer at least five of the “Wrede questions” that I postponed when I went through the list a few years ago.

Three.

  • Write loglines for at least three of the planned stories that don’t have them yet.

Two.

  • Do “snowflake step 2” for four planned novels.

One—and it was one of the most difficult, since it’s the one where I have only the “premise” and some notes from more than a decade ago, without even a super-sequence outline yet. “Snowflake fractalling” first may be better than outlining first, but it feels more difficult and frustrating because I’m not used to it.

  • Write at least five character histories and at least five character biographies.

Two and two. That few biographies largely because I put off the histories for so long.

  • Finish the Alliance précis I’ve been postponing for a couple of years now

Since it hasn’t appeared on this blog, I obviously haven’t finished it.

  • Post at least one Shine Cycle-related post before the next status update.

I’m going to count my list of alternate history ideas I’m not planning to use.

  • Write at least a hundred words of “actual prose.”

That, no. Though I did write a nearly-two-thousand-word letter from Evart, and about twenty-five hundred words in my final classwork for my summer-term class.

Like I said, I’m counting most of that as “partial credit,” about what I should have expected given that I knew I would have some “crunch” to finish classwork, that I hoped to go to Evart, and that both any classwork “crunch” and Evart would require some recovery time. So I’m at least somewhat satisfied.

I start my next set of classes next week, so I can’t be too ambitious in non-class-related writing goals. (I expect classwork won’t be so time-consuming at first as to restrict progress here, but I don’t know when it’ll get that way, so I’ve set my expectations low.) So here are the goals I think I can reasonably meet in the next month or so:

  • Continue regular work on Shine Cycle development (the prerequisite for any substantial progress at all).
  • Create super-sequence outlines for three of the “Alternate Universes” sub-series.
  • Answer at least two of the “Wrede questions” that I postponed when I went through the list a few years ago.
  • Write loglines for at least two of the planned stories that don’t have them yet.
  • Do “snowflake step 2” for at least one planned novel.
  • Write at least two character histories and at least one character biography.
  • Finish the Alliance précis I’ve been postponing for a couple of years now
  • Post at least one Shine Cycle-related post before the next status update.
  • Write at least a hundred words of “actual prose.”

As always, we’ll see how reality matches up to those goals.

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