I've replaced a good chunk of my opening. It's smoother. It's nicer. And it's not any shorter.
I keep checking different sources online to see about word counts, but nothing seems to want to tell me what I want to hear. It all needs to be less than what I have... and what I'm afraid I'll be able to get it to. Don't get me wrong, I know I have to shave stuff down, but it's depressing when I'm fixing stuff and I hit this wall of words. I have a LOT of the novel still to comb through and I know I can shave a bunch off, but it's not looking great at the moment.
I hate being an overwriter. I know this story can be told with less words, but I'm having trouble seeing it. At this rate, I'm not certain that word trimming will be enough. I'm going to have to cut entire chapters and plot elements to keep things within the confines of a debut novel. Otherwise, I'll be rejected without editors even looking at the text.
Word counts. I suppose if I go with self publishing I won't have to worry about that, but ... I'm not ready for that yet. There's absolutely nothing wrong with self-publishing, I just need to try traditional first. I'm not certain that I have the resources to afford all the services I'll need to self-publish. There's editing (multiple times,) buying ISBNs, paying for cover art, marketing, and so much more. I just don't think I can do that, at least not right now.
It'll be okay, though. I know I can push through this and get the word count down. I don't really have a choice. One way or another, I'll get this thing into the hands of an agent that is willing to take a chance on me.
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.