In a heart-warming article about the editing process, Ali Bacon writes about her relief at having someone looking over her shoulder as she works on the final draft of her historical novel In the Blink of an Eye, to be published by Linen Press early next year.
I love her acknowledgement that I’m not playing with commas and full stops. Sure, I do that but it’s trivial. I’m holding in my head the structure of the novel and how each chapter works within that structure, I’m listening to the narrative voices, and I’m looking for clarity, consistency and accessibility. I’m the boss of Linen Press and my job is to iron out the creases!
Ali says, ‘Lynn has, literally, bought into the idea of Blink. She is familiar with the whole narrative…I sense we share a vision of how the book should turn out. If something doesn’t work for her, I know she is looking at it from a similar perspective.’ Spot on, Ali. I have to get right under the skin of a book so that I’m a ghost writer, almost able to produce prose in my author’s style, but with the advantage of a fresh perspective. Ali writes that she agrees with my suggestions and amends 99% of the time. I’m thrilled by such a harmonious, close collaboration.