I recently visited Cally Jackson's Blog where she wrote about her editing process.
I left the following comment there:
You’d be surprise what you can actually cut out of the ms to tighten it up. My first ms was about 110,000 words, and when I started getting a gazillion rejections and realized my word count was too high – - I did a revision with the singular goal of cutting words.
Every chapter, every scene, every sentence, every word needs to move the plot along. If it doesn’t – consider cutting it. Ask yourself, will this paragraph even be missed if I cut it?
And, you can cut a ton of words by fixing all of these: “was thinking” to “thought” … “was watching” to “watched" ... and so on.
After that post, I thought harder about my current revisions. Am I staying true to the advice I gave Cally? Yesterday, I almost cut an entire chapter because of it. However, I decided there were some important plot points in that chapter. So, I kept the meat and eliminated over 300 words of fat (from an already short chapter).
Do you try to delete the words readers skip?