Hack, Cut, and Chop
That's how many words I've axed from The Allison Lee Chronicles Volume 3 so far. Honestly, I'm impressed I could slice away so much fat by sacrificing only one minor subplot. I mean, 16,000 words is 12.6% of the original manuscript.
That's right, my rough draft had clocked in at 127,000 words. That's about 40,000 words longer than the first two books in the series.
I don't think I'll get Volume 3 down to the 86K-87K range of the first two books.
And that's okay. As I have written in several guest posts (here & here) around the writerly web, the tale grows in the telling (Tolkien was right!). Still, I'd like to get the manuscript below 100K.
That means hewing away another 11,000 words or so. A big task? Yes. But I'm optimistic. I've only eliminated three chapters through consolidation, so there's plenty of room to tighten the belt.
Wish me luck!