Hey, writer friends, what’s up? I was recently tweeting a fellow writer and she mentioned her latest editorial struggle (as depicted in above meme). This is totally me. I am a verbose person. Good for reaching the target word count, bad for keeping it under…. I try to set a goal of keeping my YA contemporary around 80,000 words. Which is almost impossible for me. So I start slashing words. A lot of words.
I go through my MS line-by-line, word-by-word, slashing whatever is not absolutely necessary. …and while cutting things, I’ll realize I need to have more internal monologue or emotional reaction or non-verbals to really convey the impact of a particular scene or the character’s progress on an internal or external story arc. And–tada!–not only have I failed in my goal of cutting X number of words, I’ve actually added 2000. …which leads to another edit.
Writer friends, what is your focus when you edit? Too many words? Too few? Those pesky adverbs? Telling instead of showing? Commas and semi-colons?