So, because I am now getting quite good at lowering my word count, I would like to present to you *drum roll please* The Word Count Diet!
1) FIRST, get rid of any extraneous scenes including characters you never mention again and who have no major part in the plot of the story. If you were trying to prove something about your MCs through interaction with these characters, try to show it in other ways throughout your story. (Of course, if your character just waves to a random person on the street, this doesn't count. I'm talking about full on scenes.)
2)Make sure any dream sequences you have are important.
3) If you have some nearly identical scenes, either get rid of one altogether or meld them into one.
Quick and Easy Grammar Tips
1) Get rid of "begins" or "began to" If the character wasn't running and is running now. We know that, at some point, she "began to" run.
2) Get rid of "that" as much as possible. (Ex: She knew that it wouldn't be easy --> she knew it wouldn't be easy)
3) Make all passive sentences active. (DUH.)
4) Remember to hyphenate hyphenated words. (yes, i understand this isn't really lowering anything, but I have "subtracted" a few words this way.)
Other Simple Stuff
1) Broaden your vocab and use descriptive words instead of descriptive phrases. Instead of saying "walked tiredly" say "plodded."
2) Leave "show and tell" to kindergarteners. When you have dialog, limit how often you tell how the character is feeling and thinking etc. The motto is "show don't tell" not "show and tell" for a reason. (I had this problem a lot. For some reason, I didn't seem to trust the readers to be able to figure things out on their own...)
3) Limit stuttering. This may sound silly, I know. But if EVERY time your character is confused or flustered they started going "I just...I...well...I just don't really know..." that's a LOT of extra words.
Finally, as you're reading keep these three thoughts in the back of your mind:
1) Do I need this?
2) Does it make sense?
3) Is this dragging?/Is there a lull?
4) Does this flow well with the rest of the story?
Try to think from the point of an agent or editor. If an agent feels a lull in the middle of your book or feels like a part is dragging, she won't trudge through it, she'll just put your wonderful masterpiece down and pick up another entry from the pile.
Be Aware of Lulls. Lulls are NOT your friend.
|Can I be your friend? Pweeze?|
Have a great day! Smile!
<3 Gina Blechman