I want this new novel to be delicate and cutting—nothing will cut New York but a diamond. Probably should do a night job on it as on Tenth Moon—it should not be a daylight book but intense and brilliant and fine like night thoughts. No wandering but each detail should point to the one far-off star and be keyed by Lila’s own waiting excitement and preserved youth. It should be crystal in quality, sharp as the skyline and relentlessly true. No external details beyond the swift eager glance over the shoulder.
From The Diaries of Dawn Powell 1931-1965 (Steerforth Press, 1995).