Here are some of the tips for cutting 1,000’s of words from a manuscript that I learned at the conference (I definitely need this for Shenandoah’s Daughter, and I’m sure I’ll need it to a lesser extent for Comanche Lost):
- Does your story start in the right place? (Most prologs aren’t necessary. If you’re relying on a crisis point from the past to grab your reader, your first chapter isn’t strong enough. YIf your first chapter is more like backstory, cutting it could help you create more/stronger reader questions and mor suspense. Sprinkling it in later could make it have more impact. I’m seriously thinking about this one.)
- Include only the backstory and research that your reader needs to know. Trickle it in. (Save the fun factoids for a blog.)
- Can two of your minor characters b combined into one?
- Do you need to drop a subplot? Have you over complicated your story?
- Does each scene propel the story forward? (If it doesn’t it needs to go. You can save it for another book, or as a reader gift, etc.)
- On rare occasions, it’s better to tell than show. For instance: having a sentence tell about the passage of time.
These tips are from Erica Vetsch, a mutli-published author of Regency fiction.