When Anna Yeatts suggested I cut 12,000 words from my completed, edited 87,000 paranormal romance novel, I was a bit skeptical.
Her reasoning was perfectly sound. The shorter paranormal romance would be more marketable.
But sheesh. 12,000 words, or just a bit less than 14 percent of the book. Was it possible? Could I do it? Did I even want to do it?
But okay, I’d try.
I’m now on Chapter 23 (of 39) and have cut 8,000 words. That’s about 350 words per chapter. With 16 chapters to go and only 4,000 words to cut, I’ll probably make it.
The process has taught me three things:
- This story needed to get “colder” before marketing. The line edits were completed in January, and it would’ve make a huge difference to let it sit until at least March, and then giving it that final once-over.
- Cutting extraneous details makes for a stronger story.
- “Kill your darlings” (Faulkner) is good advice. I noticed that this month’s Writer’s Digest included an article on overwriting.
So where am I, and where do I want to be?
I’ll finish up the word-cut this week. A final read before restarting the query process and thinking about #PitchWars this coming fall. And I’ll go back to writing the first draft of the next in the series–which is one-fourth completed.