As promised, here are some examples of how I cut nearly 7000 words from my manuscript. I will paste the original passage, then follow it with the cut version in bold. you can see how by simply rearranging sentence structure, or choosing one strong word in place of three weak ones, etc, can tighten writing and bring your count down.
Also, a couple of you unsubscribed after yesterday's post, saying "Blog is no longer relevant." Since I don't wanna lose readership, I'm putting a question out there for you guys who are my faithful readers....what kinds of things do you want (or not) to see on the blog?
I'm trying to determine if my blog readership is mainly friends/family, readers, writers, none of the above. LOL!
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Now...back to our regularly scheduled examples of cutting:
He went back to his workout.
He resumed his workout.
He tugged a pair of binoculars from...
He tugged binoculars from....
Chance gave him the okay signal with his fingers
Bits tried hard to ignore the eyes following her and Chance as they wove their way through the crowd which was packed like sardines.
Bits ignored gazes tracking her and Chance as they wove through the crowd, packed like sardines.
"Not according to police, Chance. Of fifty plus bystanders, he paramedic told us there was only one other man who went in the water to help you and Nolan, and he was an off-duty fireman."
"Not according to police. Of fifty bystanders, only one other man went in the water to help you guys."
As you can see by the above example, one way to cut word is remove most of the proper names in dialogue. In actual speech, people don't say one another's names every other sentence. LOL! I understand this is a technique writers use to let readers know who's speaking. But if you've denoted the speaker properly by action beats or distinguishing dialogue, you won't need to say their name unless absolutely crucial to the dialogue stint.
I also went through and did a word "find" on "that" "so" "just" "finally" and "gaze" since I tend to overuse those.
AND, I nixed all unnecessary words. You may have to make more than one pass to tighten the writing. It's best to set the story aside and let it gel awhile. That way, when you look for places to cut, you'll have a fresh perspective on the story. For example, when I went back through the ms with another pass, I trimmed more from places I'd already cut. One example: the passage, "Chance signaled "okay" with his fingers" became Chance signaled "okay." Most readers will get that he signaled with his fingers. The only other way he could have signaled "okay" would be to say it, in which case I could have written, "Chance mouthed, "okay."
Hope this helps! There are a gazillion examples, but this will hopefully give you some ideas for when you go to trim your own stuff.
Cheryl Wyatt Gal. 2:20 Pouring my vial of words over Him.
A SOLDIER'S PROMISE~ Steeple Hill Love Inspired~ Jan. 2008
A SOLDIER'S FAMILY~ Steeple Hill Love Inspired~ Mar. 2008