(Or Why I’m Failing 2k16)

Welcome to story time, my children. Today I am going to tell you why I am not going to meet a very large personal deadline, and why I am not even mad about it (bro).

There is no way I am going to finish #Rhanforyolife by spring break. Because I have never, not once, written 5,000 words a week. One time I got close, but still fell short. But regardless of these many failures, am so, so proud of what I have accomplished.

I currently have almost 13,000 words written in the story. That is the most I have ever written on one project. When I began, I did not think I would pursue this story beyond writing a first draft. I thought it would essentially be an exercise to practice diligence and just getting words on the page. But as I put words on the page the world building, the characters, and the plot began to slowly flesh out and become something new and exciting!

I still can’t guarantee I will pursue the story, but it has become something I want to write, rather than something I force myself to do. That is why I am not afraid to miss my deadline, because I know I won’t give up by default. I will finish.

I am changing my weekly goal to 3000 words, because I want to have an achievable goal. It feels good to succeed, and I want to give myself that reward. I still want to finish this draft by the end of the year (preferably the school year), but I feel like either is doable without driving myself insane, which is what I have been doing these past few weeks.

XX. Shelby Jo

P.S. Know that I am in the middle of midterms right now. Then you may look at my word count. And laugh.

Weekly Goal: 3,000

Weekly Count: 48

Total Count: 12,902




“Jackson has lived his entire life surrounded by rumors of the legendary Gryfinach Corps, a militarized espionage organization supposedly disbanded when the nation of Rhan transferred to a democratic government. But when the nation’s peace, and democracy, are threatened, Jackson is rapidly swept up into the world of the Corps. Jackson and his companions Taryn and Cather must navigate the deadly waters of Rhan’s new political system in order to protect their nation, and each other.


Okay, so I realize that synopsis seems pretty lame and generic, but I’m comfortable keeping it that way for a while. I have what I need to write, and more will be revealed to you if I am successful in finishing the first draft.

My goal is to have this first draft finished by spring break, which gives me 15 weeks to write what I estimate will be about 75,000 words. That means I have to write 5,000 words a week. So, my Monday posts will be returning to their normal rants, but I will be keeping a running word count and goal on all of my posts.


I am honestly in shock that this actually worked. AND SO EXCITED.

xx. Shelby Jo



(Muah ah ah ah ahhhh)

(jk lol)

Sorry for going radio silent this weekend! I got caught up with finals and moving out and couldn’t queue up a Friday post. But now I’m HOMMEEEEEE and I’ve ridden my horsies and eaten ice cream every day and I’m so glad to be back.

*ahem* anyyywayyy. This is the part of the outline process that I am slightly concerned about, because I am unsure of how much to reveal on here (because, yes, THE INTERNET IS FOREVER. THANKS MOM).

So, instead, you’re getting the review post intended for last Friday: RWBY Volume 3!

this is happening

Well, for the content of the first 3 episodes, at least.

Context: RWBY is a web-series created by Monty Oum and produced by Rooster Teeth. Mr. Oum suddenly died after the release of Volume 2, putting the future of the show in jeopardy. I discovered and watched the first two volumes of the show over the summer, immediately falling in love and telling everyone I knew to watch it, so I would have people to obsess with. I was so excited when Volume 3 was announced on schedule, despite the loss of Mr. Oum, but then I started to develop some doubts. I loved RWBY when I was binge-watching it, but what if the novelty of the show wore off when I had to wait two weeks to see a new episode? Because of this (and because I am a foolish, competitive human) I ended up making a pact with my brother not to watch any volume 3 content until I came home from SCAD and we could watch it together. I came home. We watched it. And now I’m telling you about it.

Positives: It’s definitely still the same RWBY. The animation is different (better, if you ask me, but it’s hard to adjust to, after seeing the characters move the same way for so long), but the dialogue, pacing, and characters all remain true to the previous seasons. Plenty of new characters are being introduced, and the plot is beginning to thicken. The Vidal Tournament is going to be B A D A S S, and so far I love seeing all the unique fighters and styles.

Negatives: The first two seasons of RWBY consisted of primarily filler/character developing episodes, and then the plot unfolded and climaxed in the last 3 or 4, and it looks like volume three will follow the same pattern. There was a little too much comedy shoved into these particular episodes, or at least it was more of an “in-your-face” style than I prefer. Along those lines, I also feel like the voice acting has taken a step backward. In volume 1 the delivery of practically every line was rushed and amateur, but volume 2 showed a huge improvement in that realm. Unfortunately, now, we’re back to rushed line delivery and exaggerated voices. I attribute this partly to the humor aspect, because the voice actors just have so many jokes to get through in each scene. Finally, there has been absolutely no explanation of the events of the volume 2 finale, and I feel like that is necessary before the plot progresses any further.

Summary: I realize there are a lot more negatives than positives up there, but I have faith in the show, and I think this season has the potential to be the best yet. Plus, I’m ridiculously attached to the characters, so I am probably going to love it no matter what happens. If you haven’t watched RWBY, I highly recommend you do so (on the Rooster Teeth YouTube channel or website), so you can watch the awesomeness as it unfolds.


xx. Shelby Jo

Setting the Stage

I am so swamped with final projects, essays, and exams that I finally came up with a decent name for this place and honestly, that feels like enough.

SO WELCOME TO RHAN. This fantastical realm is based primarily on medieval Celtic-Germanic culture (think Beowulf) and it’s everything I loved about fantasy as a child, so I really hope I can make it work.

Rhan is a place where the sun rarely shines, and the lives of its people clearly reflect that. It’s dark, foggy, and the elements are often raging.

A parliamentary government has recently been established among the nation’s more entitled citizens, and the culture is moving towards urbanization and supposed “progress” but Rhan has a long history of violent, authoritarian rule, and much of the novel looks at if and how the people can overcome that history.

I want to world to capture the feel and mood of a high fantasy world, though the plot and characters don’t necessarily reflect that genre. Also, I don’t think there will be any supernatural elements at play, though I am developing some mythology.

I’M SORRY THIS SEEMS REALLY WEAK. I promise (mostly to myself, but you know) that I have legitimate amount actually finished, but there is no good way to share it without spoilers and whatnot. Hopefully you will get a better understanding of the setting next week, when I have the plot arc finished.

xx. Shelby Jo

Meet the Cast!

…of this still unnamed project. SORRY.

  • Taryn
  1. Taryn is our leading lady. There are some other female characters floating around in my mind, but she’s the only female POV the story will follow.
  2. Taryn has short, dirty blond hair that she tries to keep back, but usually ends up in her face anyway. She has a long, oval face and sharp features and green eyes to fit it.
  3. When the story begins she is 21 years old and a member of the mysterious Corps.
  • Cather
  1. Cather is Taryn’s partner and long-time best friend. They grew up together, joined the Corps as a team, and managed to stay that way.
  2. Cather is tall and slender, with hazel eyes and dark brown hair that’s usually perfect. He comes across as arrogant and attractive in the way that moneyed people usually do.
  3. Cather is a year older than Taryn, and comes from a wealthy noble family.
  • Jackson
  1. Jackson is the baby of the tale. He is a day dreaming teen-aged barkeep from the Outer Provinces. He’s whisked into the world of the Corps and the government and the wealthy inner provinces by a chance meeting with Taryn.
  2. He has black hair, blue eyes, and full lips, giving him a puppy-ish look he doesn’t know how to use to his advantage. He’s excitable and out spoken, and has strong ideals.
  3. Most of the action of the novel is centered around Jackson and his decisions. He is the primary mover of the plot and probably the main protagonist.

Stay tuned for world building next week! (UGH that’s going to be the hardest part of this plotting thing and I’m really not looking forward to it).

xx. Shelby Jo