(But first a beer digression. I've been buying Kokanee, a really pleasant, mild lager from British Columbia, almost a Koelsch. Had one tonight and felt so happy that I then had a Pilsner Urquell, which I don't usually buy, but I did last weekend. This one had gone skunky. Blech. Unsettled my stomach and left a nasty taste in my mouth. [I had to drink most of it, just to be sure, you see.] I was soooo tempted to, um, cleanse my palate with a third beer, but I managed not to. I'm almost proud of myself. Fortunately, I had made myself a pot of Serious Tea, and that seems to be helping.)
As I work my way toward finishing Time and the Soldier, I'm daydreaming increasingly about plot and character details of a planned forthcoming novel. It's not in fact going to be the next one I work on, but that sounded better as the post title.
Trollope talked about this in his autobiography. I downloaded a text version of his autobiography and tried to find that in there but couldn't, and I hope I'm remembering this correctly from when I read the book (in, gasp!, printed form) many years ago.
As I remember, Trollope said that he would start the next book right after finishing the preceding one. Perhaps he even said that it would be the very next day. He said it wasn't hard to do that because he had been living with (I think that was the phrase) the characters in the next book while finishing the preceding one, and so he already knew them well. That struck me as wonderful when I read it.
Years, or decades, ago, I used to daydream about books I planned to write, but it wasn't realistic. I was really daydreaming about having written them and being a success as a result. Nowadays, it seems more concrete. I'm not imagining the future book as a finished product. Rather, I'm thinking about the details that will go into it. Doing that keeps me excited about that future book, even while I'm immersed deeply in the current one, and it makes the future book seem more real and makes me feel that, like Trollope, I'll be ready to dive right into it when the time comes.
Or so I hope.