Saturday, October 30, 2010

Word Count Update :)

Remember my vast word count oversight? Well, first of all, it turns out I've jumped the gun..again. I cut a lot out that I didn't need to right away. When it comes to editing for the sake of reducing your word count remember this:

Remove unnecessary adverbs.
There is a rule that you shouldn't use them at all (which I think is a little extreme). A well-trusted birdie told me that you can use them as long as you're breaking the adverb rule effectively. Besides, we can't just let them sit aside and go to waste can we? Just make sure you don't use them in every sentence and every dialogue tag. Allow the dialogue and scene descriptions to speak for themselves

i.e. I sighed frustratingly.

Depending on how you've set up the scene, if your MC sighs, we already know she's frustrated.

Re-word your sentences.
No matter what you say, there's always an easier (and less wordy) way to say. And if you do it properly, it will still carry the same meaning.

Reconsider your narrative.
Now that I've changed my novel back to first-person, I'm using much less words per scene.

And...if all else fails,

If it doesn't drive the plot...
We've all heard this one and it might be the easiest way to turn 100,000 words into 70,000 . Just take out anything that really doesn't have to be there. No matter how cool a character is, if the story doesn't suffer without them, remove them.

I was told by the same trusted adverbs-aren't-the-devil source that word count really does vary depending on your story. So if you're down to 90, 000 from 130, 000 and you've exhausted all other options, don't worry. That's what an editor is for!

I've cut out a lot, changed the narrative and still have a few scenes to enhance so I'm not sure where I'll end up, but in case you're wondering, these are my stats:

End of second draft: 132, 000 (+)

Current: 72, 911


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