Shine Cycle 2015 Review, 2016 Goals

As the civil year comes to an end, it’s time to look back over the past year and forward to the next. I summarized the year on this blog at the end of the Church year, including a summary of Shine Cycle-related posts, so this week I’ll look at the goals I set a year ago, and set new ones. Today, the goals related to the Shine Cycle, my fantasy series in preparation, and also my regular monthly status update.

2015 Goals

First, let’s see how I did compared to the goals I set a year ago for the Shine Cycle:

Most of my goals were, as usual, repetitions of ones I’d made progress toward but failed to accomplish the previous year.

Outlining

  • Goal: In my iterative outlining, get at least to the end of the saga in the current pass—which is converting “super-sequence” outlines to outlines by “sequence”, deciding on point-of-view characters, and creating tentative loglines.

I made a fair amount of progress on this one, but didn’t get anywhere near finishing.

  • Intermediate Goal: Have at least a general (“super-sequence”) outline of every “main-line” story, plus the “Game of Life”, by July.

I haven’t finished this even by now. I think that I have at least “super-sequence” outlines for every “main-line” story, but some of the Game of Life ones are still at the “premise-only” stage … largely because Alternate Universes stories have been coming for outlining up in my task tracker before Game of Life stories.

  • Goal: Have at least one “polished” logline.

While I’ve kept creating tentative loglines, I haven’t tried to significantly polish one.

I didn’t meet this … but that’s partly because I decided earlier this year to do each stage of the process for many stories before going on to the next stage, instead of working on each story from stage one to stage ten.

Background and Worldbuilding

I did better on this category.

  • Goal: Write at least four character histories.

I vastly exceeded this goal, writing twelve character histories.

  • Intermediate Goal: One character history by April, two by July, three by October.

According to my records, I wrote one in January, one in February, one in May, three in June, one in July, one in August, one in September, one in October, and two in December.

  • Goal: Finish working through the “Deep Culture Fractalling System” (that is, the “worldview” part, which is all that’s been posted …) for the Imperial culture.
  • Intermediate Goal: Finish “Step 3: Reality.”

I met this goal in April.

Actual Prose

  • 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 nothing. As I suspected, since I knew I would have writing-heavy courses (but not how heavy they would be).

Monthly Status Update

In my last update, in the liturgical-year-end blog summary, I identified goals for the past month, which I’ll look at individually.

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

More regular than the previous month, but not quite regular either.

  • Write at least two character histories and at least one character biography.

Done.

  • Do “snowflake step 2” for at least one planned novel.

Done.

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

I posted only one, the Counter précis.

I didn’t even manage one.

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

I answered one.

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

Nothing, as has been usual.

Because I expect to be less busy with classwork for the next month, I’ll set my goals for the next month to be a little more ambitious, but base them on what I see coming in my task tracker for the next while.

  • Continue regular work on Shine Cycle development (the prerequisite for any substantial progress at all).
  • Write at least least three character biographies.
  • Do “snowflake step 2” for at least two planned novels.
  • Post at least two Shine Cycle-related post before the next status update.
  • Create super-sequence outlines for at least two of the “Alternate Universes” sub-series.
  • Write at least a hundred words of “actual prose.”

We’ll see.

2016 Goals

While I expect fewer demands on my time than the same time last year for the first few months, I don’t know what will come. But I’ve looked over the last year in my task tracker, taken the average “velocity,” and used that to predict what I’ll be able to do, to come up with the following goals.

Because I forgot to check my “intermediate goals” for 2015 until it was time to check all the goals, I’ve decided against setting “intermediate goals.” However, if I remember I intend to briefly check how I’m doing midway through the year, perhaps in July.

Outlining

  • Goal: In my iterative outlining, get at least “super-sequence” or “pre-sequence” outlines for at least six Alternate Universes stories.
  • Stretch Goal: Get at least sequence-level outlines for at least two Alternate Universes stories.
  • Goal: Decide on point-of-view characters for at least six Alternate Universes stories.
  • Goal: Get at least two of the Game of Life sub-series to at least the sequence level, and at least five more to the super-sequence level.
  • Stretch Goal: Get at least five Game of Life stories to at least the sequence level. (Including the two from the previous goal.)
  • Stretch Goal: Get at least one Game of Life story outlined to at least the scene level.
  • Goal: Get at least eight other non-“main-line” planned stories outlined to at least the super-sequence level.
  • Stretch Goal: Get at least one of those stories outlined to at least the sequence level.
  • Goal: Decide on point-of-view characters for Anarchy and at least the first third of the Reignalmia sub-series
  • Stretch Goal: Decide on point-of-view characters for all of the Reignalmia series.
  • Goal: Have at least one “polished” logline.
  • Stretch Goal: Have at least three “polished” loglines.
  • Goal: Get at least fifteen planned stories to at least step 2 (the first being the logline) of the “snowflake method”.
  • Stretch Goal: Get at least twenty planned stories to at least step 2 of the “snowflake method.”
  • Stretch Goal: Get to at least step 3 of the “snowflake method” for at least one story.
  • Goal: Create précis for at least five planned novels that I don’t already have one for.
  • Goal: Carefully check at least ten previously-posted précis against subsequent development.

Character Development

  • Goal: Write at least fifteen character biographies or histories.
  • Stretch Goal: Write at least twenty character biographies or histories.
  • Goal: Create “character loglines” or “motivation summaries” for at least five characters.
  • Stretch Goal: Create “character loglines” or “motivation summaries” for at least ten characters.

Worldbuilding

  • Goal: Answer at least seven questions from the “worldbuilding questions” devised by Patricia Wrede
  • Stretch Goal: Finish this pass (which leaves some notes like “TODO: answer this in more detail,” but should give at least some answer to every question) through the Wrede questions.

Actual Prose

  • 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.

Blogging

  • Goal: Post at least twelve Shine Cycle-related posts (not including writing status updates, year-end retrospectives, and the like) to this blog.
  • Stretch Goal: Post at least eighteen Shine Cycle-related posts (with the same exclusions) to this blog.
  • Stretch Goal: Post at least one Shine Cycle-related post (with the same exclusions) to this blog every month.

We’ll see.

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

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