Writing status update (#38)

It’s again been four weeks since my last report on my progress developing the Shine Cycle, my fantasy series-in-preparation, and the trend of basically-steady production of the background material has continued.

This past month I had fewer categories of things making urgent demands on my time. On the other hand, classwork increased to a climax, so that there was one week in which I got next to nothing done on the Shine Cycle because I had so much classwork to do. (And the word “climax” is also apt because the class ends today.)

Let’s look at my stated goals for the period:

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

We’ll call this a success. It’s still not regular enough—I wish I had the habit of working at a specific hour every day for a specific amount of time, instead of working intensely one particular day each week and then continuing in the momentum of that—but except for the one week of time-intensive classwork, I’m continuing to maintain a fairly steady week-over-week pace.

  • Write at least least five character biographies.

Eight. (These are a paragraph or two each, I should mention, the “personality etc.” section of character profiles.)

  • 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.


I finished that only a little more than a week after last month’s status update post.

  • Stretch Goal: Get at least halfway through outlining The Cross by sequence.

Not only did I get at least half-way through, I finished outlining it 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).

This I met, but only just; three such questions came up in the task tracker, but one of them really needs a good map to answer properly, and that is something I’ve put off for much later, so I postponed that Wrede question too.

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

And here I again have nothing to report.

In addition to this Shine Cycle work, I wrote one new poem (for a friend’s birthday, however, so it will not appear on this blog unless she says I should publish it more publicly), and reviewed Aubrey Hansen’s new novelette.

I hope this trend of a steady but increasing rate of work on the Shine Cycle continues for the next month, but that this doesn’t “take over my life” as I try to transition from classwork to job-searching. Here are the specific goals I’ll lay out for the next weeks, that, God willing, I would like to at least accomplish:

  • Continue regular work on Shine Cycle development (the prerequisite for any substantial progress at all).
  • Write at least five character biographies.
  • Create at least one “character logline” or “motivation summary.”

(One book compellingly argued for developing “character loglines,” and another for summarizing character’s motivations in a particular way that’s not quite the same, but the concepts overlap so much that I’ve conflated them in my task tracker and don’t plan to do both for any given character.)

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

(I don’t say “or more” because except for those stories where I’ve only created concepts for them in the last few months, and thus the further-development tasks are scheduled in my task tracker years away, I’ve about reached the end of the “snowflake step 2” tasks.)

(If I do end up making revisions that are at all significant, I’ll try to remember to link to the posts from my status report.)

  • Answer at least three of the remaining “Wrede questions.”
  • Investigate points about “The Adventure of the Royal Wedding” raised by a reader years ago that have been sitting at the top of my task list (essentially) since.
  • Write at least a hundred words of “actual prose.”

We’ll see how the month goes. Do you have any thoughts?


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