It was a weird thing, looking back at Stars and knowing I could do better now. Feeling the richness that it didn't have. I still like the characters an awful lot, though. And I'm thinking about them now, as Cathoair's theme song is playing on the CD player. "Better bring your own redemption when you come / to the barricades of heaven, where I'm from."
I started playing with the outline for Scardown today, although it needs some more brain time. I'm sort of desultorily poking at things right now. But I did do three novel rewrites in the past month. And I've figured out something I'd like to add to Bridge if I can figure out how. I think my brain needs a little time to vacate and rest: I somehow think that it's a little impossible to sit down and keep writing novels back to back. I mean, there are writers that do it.
But I think maybe the creative centers do better if you give the pot time to fill up. Mean time I'm letting things stew and reading a whole bunch of stuff--fic and nonfic. I'm halfway through the March F&SF, and I'm thinking about maybe another Garrett story, since Celia gave me such a lovely title. I think I'm on vacation. Just doing barely enough to keep the guilt monkey at bay and keep my skills sharp.
I am very pleased with how far I've come on sentence-level manipulation and clarity. I had a real click, and I think it shows. I seem to be at the skillpoint where I feel like I know what I'm doing again (Finally!) after a year of wrestling new skills and kicking the suck-monkey. (It's a related species to the guilt monkey, but less productive. Although I sometimes think I have an 800-lb-guilt gorilla.)
Dammit, I have earned a vacation.
And A&A is closed to subs until March 1st. So really, I'm just going to screw around for a month, and do some research, and think about Scardown, and maybe write some short stories because they're fun. And worry about getting this next novel written in March. Maybe outlined this month, though. If it clicks.
The Stratford Man on the other hand, that one may take a year or two. It's a little more ambitious than what I've written before, and while I've identified a spec element and a cast of characters and even a few subplots, I don't have a major conflict or a protag yet.... and I don't have a theme.... and I don't even know who the antag is going to be. Hmmm. Needs a protag. Yes, that could be an important step. I guess it could be Guillam. That would make Kat happy. But then, he's the obvious choice. And Marlowe is another one.