Paula is trying to cut words.
After finally getting to the
end of my current ‘work in progress’, I felt it was too long, 122,336 words to
be exact! As a result, I’ve been on a big word-cutting marathon.
My other novels have ranged
from about 70K words to 88K. Based on that, it seems I need to ‘lose’ about
34,000 words – which is equivalent to approximately 7 or 8 chapters!
So far, I’ve worked hard on
the first ten chapters – reducing ‘over-wording’, trying to be more concise, deleting
unnecessary dialogue, condensing some scenes, and actually cutting a couple of
very minor scenes.
I’ve reduced 45,819 words to 42,062,
a loss of 3757. If I reduce the remaining chapters at the same rate, it will end up about 110,000.
I queried this with my
publisher, and her initial comment was, “Just use whatever words are necessary
to tell the story.” However, she then went on to say that currently novels
between 50,000 and 85,000 words sell better than those over 100,000.
So now my dilemma is: do I
submit a novel of over 100,000 words, or do I find some way to reduce the
wordage even more?
I’ve considered changing the ‘start’
point of the novel to later in the story, but this means I would lose the early
‘conflict’ between the hero and heroine, and the development of their
relationship, both of which underpin the later part of the story.
I’ve never been in this
situation before, as my previous novels all fell within the 70-88,000
parameters after thorough editing, so I’m unsure what to do with this one. Any