You may recall that I was asked to reduce a book from 82,000 words to less than 70,000. I have to say that I've enjoyed that daunting task, and I may have improved the book overall.

When you cut, you have to look at what the least useful parts of a story are. What I found was a subplot that stretched credulity somewhat. It made a satisfying little "ta-da" at the end, but now that I've cut it, I think the book is stronger, more believable.

The bad part is all the little references that must be found and changed or eliminated. Four people in a group becomes three. A two-day period becomes one. Time and adjectives must adjust. I'm halfway through that part, after which I'll ask a reader to check for continuity.

Then I may look at some of the others and see if they could benefit from some cutting.

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Comment by Dana King on May 29, 2009 at 2:11am
I knew you were a slasher at heart.

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