Dwelling on Word Cutting
So this week I've knocked out another game review (should be up shortly, I hope), researched some publishing sites, and did a bunch of plotting for the backstories of several of my characters. I'm still waiting to hear back from a few agents that I've queried, but once I get their responses, I'm likely to try cutting more from The Paladin, and mapping out the backstories is going to help me figure out what's important and what can go.
It's kinda disappointing, actually. I did a lot of work, ran it past betas, got very favorable responses, but I know that despite that, the word count is going to scare off any potential agents. I knew it before I submitted to betas, I knew it while I was waiting for feedback, and I know it now.
Tough decisions are awaiting me as I go over the manuscript one more time, figuring out everything that can go. I had already considering one scene that might be able to go, but after my last rejection letter, I'm contemplating not just that scene, but the entire plot arc it's part of!
Still, I know that if I can cut those words, there's likely to be a better version of the story waiting on the other end. I know there's parts I can't touch (the betas voiced their opinions on it) but... I don't know. Maybe if I can rearrange the information I can drop out the extra 20,000 words I need to lose. Aw man.. it just hit me how much that is. I'm averaging around five thousand words per chapter, so this is roughly like having to cut out four whole chapters!
How do you even make a decision like that? I'm going to have to not only figure out what I can lose, but identify all the important info in those sections and figure out where I can put them without dramatically increasing the word count.
I was hoping for a calmer, less anxiety-inducing night, but thinking about all this editing and cutting just killed it. Oh well. No point in worrying about it until the rest of the agents get back to me / ignore me long enough to be considered a "no." Time to dive into those side projects!
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Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.