So on Monday, in Holding Pattern, I wrote about how I wasn't really writing. And I tossed out, at the end, how maybe I'd mash up one of my camp novels and a prior NaNoWriMo novel, both of which reached 50k but neither of which were finished.
Of course, I've been thinking about it ever since.
This isn't as simple as alternating paragraphs and seeing what happens, or whatever. I'm sure there are some scraps of the manuscripts that can exist as such, but overall, we're talking a clean slate, Page One Chapter One bottom up project here, almost as though I'd never written any of it in the first place. I think the serial killer bits need to go. An I think a tremendous flaw in my take on Hamlet was leaving out the supernatural. I think a tremendous flaw in my Asbury Park project was that I did not make it modern, and took too long to get to the fucking point. I can probably still keep the title of the Hamlet project, Esto Quod Es, at least as a placeholder (and I haven't quite solved my Plot Cliff problem, though my subconscious insists it's working).
I haven't written anything yet. But I'm getting a mental sense of the shape of it, the arc, how it all hangs together. I've been listening to about the right music it seems, Bruce Springsteen but also much of what Pandora thinks is like Bruce Springsteen (Protip: sometimes Pandora is wrong. Do not hesitate to tell Pandora when Pandora is wrong).
But I've already spent time with all of these characters. I've got a sense of their wants and their needs, and most importantly their goals. I'm not starting from scratch, not quite. I've been reading both of the novels (finished Asbury Park, working on Esto Quod Es) and have been pleased several times with what already exists. I just need to isolate those pleasing islands and string tem with other beads of appropriately matching size, shape, and coloration.