A few months ago I began my journey of editing, I thought I knew what I was doing. I was dead wrong. When I finally linked all the chapters of my book, I found out that I was about 50,000 words or more, too long. I began editing and have changed about 70% of my manuscript in the first eight chapters. In addition I have cut, slashed, and dumped over 17,000 words. I have about 400 pages written, but, my 17,000 words were cut in the first 70 pages. This probably is largely due to the fact that this is my first real book writing exercise. Therefore, I have rewritten chapters that needed a better clarification and completely axed other chapters. When you know that you have a lot to cut, it helps to take out the least important details.
I have had a few suggestions to cut almost nothing but turn the book into two books. This could work in other circumstances, but I have difficult seeing how this would work. My climax doesn’t occur to later in the book. I would have to add a few more chapters. That seems to be a stretch. I love the plot of my book and it would be hard to cut the more important parts.
Cutting words hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. There are portions of the story that are much more tied to my heart while others just help move the story along. They are essential in character development and setting the plot in motion. Some scenes were just a blast to write and I am even more excited about editing those scenes.
Update – Am continuing to edit, what a blast…well not really. I am currently up to over 60,000 words edited. What an interesting way to make a story work. Not sure when I will finish. Am over half way done with editing. It is an experience all its own.