I am editing my first two novels for publication and I am encountering these exact situations. I lost over 5,000 words from Teller’s Cove and expect about the same percentage of Pressee to go the way of the dodo.
Cutting down on your word count can be a difficult task for any author, though this is a large part of editing. The very vast majority, if not all, of us have a lot of unneeded information in our novels that we just don’t need. As I re-edit my Herezoth trilogy for an Autumn release of new editions, I realize where a lot of my cuts are coming from:
- Unneeded repetition or emphasis
- Unneeded descriptions or elaborations of people, places, or things
- Over-explanation, or explaining concepts that aren’t confusing or interesting
Number three is something I think we are all guilty of as writers. We get to a point where we don’t want to confuse the reader, so we want to make sure something is clear. And then we overdo it. You know what they say paves the road to hell, right?
Maybe it’s an inherent “contradiction” in character motives…
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