I knocked out a few chapters of editing today. Sadly, I didn't drop below the 140k word mark like I expected, but I have made some progress.
A few things have been shifted around and I was super happy to be able to slide some dialogue I really liked but had to cut into a later chapter. I know that's not a particularly productive method of cutting content, but there was certainly a net gain. Or loss. There were less words.
That's pretty much how things are going right now. I'm doing my best to remove bigger chunks of plot that don't push anything forward, but I'm slowly leaving the chapters that I hoped I could condense. I'm sure with the rest of the manuscript I'll be able to chop out a few thousand more words easily, but right now I'm, if you'll pardon the paraphrasing of the saying, using a scalpel where I need to use a chainsaw.
At the same time, I wonder: what if there just isn't anything terribly huge to cut? I mean, I did create a new world with a bunch of new rules to explain, which is why Sci-Fi / Fantasy tends to be much longer than normal fiction. Still, I know the likelihood of that is somewhere around lotto ticket range. I think every writer believes they have nothing to cut and, almost universally, are wrong about that. This is almost certainly the case here, too.
Still, without enough beta readers, I don't have enough eyes on my work to help me single out what needs to go and what can stay. So... I guess I just continue on as before. Word by word, sentence by sentence. If I haven't made my goal by the end of next month, I'm just going to submit anyway. I can't sit around waiting forever.
Don't Forget to be Awesome!
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.