Ghostwriter Diaries 19

NotebookAfter a solid day spent editing, and with a little over a week to go until my final submission deadline, it’s unlikely this entry will make a lot of sense. But if I don’t check in now, you probably won’t hear from me again until it’s all over. And that would be a shame.

Today I’ve edited around 150 pages of manuscript, a process that’s involved rather more rewriting than I’d hoped for, but which has come out all right in the end. Why all the rewriting? Simply because even the smallest change here in the MS can affect what’s going on there and there and there. Edits beget edits, you see. That’s why long sessions are good – they help you keep all the strands connected in your head.

Most of the work has been prompted by the editorial team’s comments – more in this middle chunk of the text than at the beginning. Is that because the quality of my writing deteriorated as I went along. I don’t think so (at least, I hope not). I think  it’s more to do with those strands. The deeper you go in a novel, the longer each individual story strand gets, and the harder you have to work to stop it knotting up with its neighbours.

Today’s been hard work, but luckily my editors are great at giving suggestions. They pick up on everything, yes, but they also offer directions and sometimes even solutions. If not for their guidance, it would have taken twice as long. That’s the way this whole ghostwriting business works. I’m not the sole stakeholder here – I’m a member of a team.

As I write this, I have around 20,000 words left to edit, plus a pile of notes of my own that I want to address. Time’s tight, and there’s a lot of mountain still to climb. My arms and legs are tired, my ropes are frayed and my brain feels like the inside of a tumble-dryer. But I’m getting there. I really am. The summit is in sight. The real summit this time, not the false one that tricked me a couple of weeks ago.

Will I make it to the top?

You’re going to find out very soon.

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