My novel, Rules for Giving, went through a few alpha readers at the beginning of the year. I’m incorporating some of their comments before I give it to few more. One of my goals is getting the word
count down. Right now it is 121,000 words. Everything I’ve read counsels first-time novelists to keep it closer to 90,000 words. That’s going to be tough.
I’ve spent time trying to re-arrange events in the novel, allowing me to drop 5,000 words in one press of the delete key. There were a few other scenes, however, that I could not re-arrange, and they are vital for the progression of the plot. I’m abandoning the idea, at least for now. I’m hoping that sometime during the editing process it will become clearer and I see a way to make the moved scenes work. For right now I am going through the manuscript page by page, deleting words, sentences, and sometimes an entire paragraph or two.
I’m going to go back and look at my blog posts a few weeks ago on brevity. It was occurred to me that I might be able to combine a few minor characters.
It’s a tough way to get rid of 25,000 words. Does anyone have input on word length?