Writing status update (#37)

It’s been four weeks since my last report on my progress developing the Shine Cycle, my fantasy series-in-preparation, and as the past month has gone quite well, I’d better give an update now—as I’ll explain.

While I’m no longer trying to keep the departments-on-days schedule that put all Shine Cycle-related material on Mondays, my ideal is still a post a week, and on Monday if I have it by then. The reason I say “I’d better give an update now” is that in the last couple of months or so several of the tasks at the top of my task tracker were those for creating précis, or for writing the last piece missing for a character profile, each of which I like to post once a month if I have them … so posts are already scheduled for the next two Mondays, and for the second Monday in the following two months.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Despite classwork, letters I owed friends and relatives, Holy Week and Easter observance (to the extent they are observed in the liturgically-impoverished circles in which I primarily move of late), and lingering symptoms as I have gradually recovered from the illness I mentioned a month ago, I managed quite a bit of Shine Cycle development each week. (With encouragement, informal accountability, and some help, from the more-advanced-author friend writing as Aubrey Hansen … thank you, Aubrey!)

Let’s see whether it matched up to my goals for the period, however:

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

Not as regular or frequent as I would like, but I couldn’t have managed half-a-dozen or more items each week for the past month without what I would call minimal regularity, so I’ll count this a success.

  • Write at least least two character biographies.

As of Saturday, when I wrote and scheduled this report, four; I may have written another since then.

  • Write at least one character history.

Done. And another hasn’t come up in the task tracker yet.

  • Do “snowflake step 2” for at least three planned novels.

Five. Fortunately, these overlapped significantly with the précis I was supposed to be writing and posting (or, after the first, scheduling for later months).

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

Done: a précis of The Covenant, and a character profile of Queen Primrose. If my “worldbuilding” tasks had been actual worldbuilding instead of “snowflake” fractal outlining, I might even have had a third. And, as I mentioned, there are several posts for future months already scheduled.

  • Create super-sequence outlines for at least two of the “Alternate Universes” sub-series.

Done … and, in fact, this particular group of tasks is finished, at least until the “in such-and-such-Alternate-Universes-story, outline such-and-such by sequence” tasks come up (in a few years). Unless I have an idea for an alternate history (or public-domain setting, like Pellucidar—not that I’m likely to use that one …) that I feel I have to include.

Done: I got through the first two “super-sequence” or “pre-sequence” segments. I also rescheduled the next one in the task tracker to just before the following one, so I can do more than one at a time.

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

This is the one goal that I (again) absolutely failed to make any progress toward. (Unless letters count, in which case I’m fairly sure I wrote more like fifteen hundred or two thousand words … but they aren’t Shine Cycle prose.)

In addition to the Shine Cycle work I’ve reported, I also managed to write poems for Good Friday and Easter, and finish (for now) polishing, come up with titles for, and set to post three long-in-progress poems, one of which has already appeared and the other two of which will follow next week and two weeks after that. (Since I have more poems than just one to schedule at the moment, I’m stretching them out a bit by going every other week instead of every week.)

And, as I mentioned, I wrote a couple of letters that were sitting at the top of my “personal misc” task tracker for months.

But despite these successes, I can’t afford to rest on my laurels … even if I maintained the rate of my most productive week this turn indefinitely, my task tracker thinks I wouldn’t get to outlining The Counter by scene (after starting to outline it by sequence this month) until late 2019. Just like the proverbs say, one step, or one bite, at a time, and “to keep me honest” the following goals for the next month:

  • Continue regular work on Shine Cycle development (the prerequisite for any substantial progress at all).
  • Write at least least five character biographies.
  • Do “snowflake step 2” for at least three planned novels.
  • Schedule at least three Shine Cycle-related posts that aren’t already scheduled to run.
  • Finish outlining The Counter by sequence.
  • Stretch Goal: Get at least halfway through outlining The Cross by sequence.
  • Answer at least two of the remaining (i.e. having been skipped in my last pass) “Wrede [worldbuilding] questions” (to my satisfaction for now).
  • Write at least a hundred words of “actual prose.”

We’ll see whether I can keep my progress (and maybe even progress rate improvements) so far this year going.

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