Q/A: Why Are You Cutting Words?

Q/A Wednesday:  Why are you cutting words?

When I finished my rough draft, my novel sat at a plump 131,500 words.

Online research suggests that fantasy novels, especially for unheard of authors, are expected to be 80,000-120,000 words. As I’m looking to get published, that means I should follow these guidelines.

Some of the extra 11,500 words were vignettes- not actually part of the novel and easily cut. As I did my first editing pass and then my second, I cleaned up phrasing, cutting extraneous text as reasonable. By the time I finished the re-write post-beta reader feedback, I was down to 121,500 words.

Last night, I read the first 50 pages again, in about 2 hours, trimming as I went. I’m at 120,900 words. I’m planning on doing the same to the rest of the novel, while waiting to hear what my alpha/beta readers think of the new ending. If I can cut 500 words from the first 50 pages, there should be no reason I can’t do that from every 50 pages. The novel was written with word-count goals. That means there’s a lot of loose text to tighten.

If I’m as ruthless with the rest of the book as I was with the first 50 pages, I should be sitting at 117,000-117,500 words in 2 weeks.

Wish me luck.

I don’t need to ramble.

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