I had wanted to get the alpha drafts of the first two courses of my occult mystery out to folks today (before I fly tomorrow), but it doesn't look like that will happen. I'm having so much difficulty with the second that I can't even get it to a complete draft.
Thing is, I don't normally do "drafts." I paint a manuscript, which is to say I jump around, back and forth, composing non-linearly, writing and polishing, editing and over-writing until it's done, where that is entirely subjective. This is why I've said from the beginning that a novel is a painting whose canvas is stretched in time rather than in space.
Point is, these rewrites are really killing me. And there's a lesson in there somewhere.
Yet, the stories are significantly better. I still haven't touched the fourth, except to add a few things about the larger narrative. I wrote that after my big epiphany and it still stands as one of my better works, although I think one or two of the others might give it a run now.
Franz Sedlacek, Abendlied, 1938