I’m two chapters into the final edit of the novel. That’s three hours work – that’s simultaneously backbreaking and meticulous, like trying to balance a house on your back while performing ballet.
Why so tricky? Because, while every note I’ve received from the editorial team is right on the money, what each one requires me to do is unravel a tangled piece of yarn from the blanket I’ve just spent months weaving, and stitch in a new one with a smooth, sure hand. And you know yarn. Pull out one thread and there’s a very real danger all the others will start to come loose. Pick at the thing too much and who knows? One whole patch of the damn patchwork quilt might drop out and fall to the floor.
But that’s editing for you. All you can do is pick and stitch, pick and stitch, concentrating all your attention on the square centimetre of pattern before you eyes, while at the same time allowing the rest of the quilt to fill your vision. If that sounds contradictory, it is.
Two chapters in three hours means I’ve probably got another forty hours of editing ahead. Avanti!