Cutting Pains

Rock Hard


It’s my own fault.  I’m the one who allowed Rock Hard to swell (pun intended) to 123,000 words. *slaps forehead 

Now I have the painful task of trimming this book down to around 105,000 words. 

18,000 beautiful (and not so beautiful) words must go. Amputated. Discarded. Left to languish, unwanted, unloved, unneeded. 

Go away words and take your friends with you. 

At times, I’m ruthless.  Cutting pages at a time.  Yes, I know this scene sets up that scene, but if I cut the former, I can cut the later as well, which gets me closer to my goal. Die unnecessary secondary character–Michael from Akron. It’s as if you never existed with your gold Rolex and your inappropriate come-ons. No boring naked-yoga, sex scene in the hotel room for you, Sed and Jessica. It’s gone as if it never existed. You two are getting enough extraordinary sex elsewhere. You don’t need any “ordinary” sex. Sed’s psycho fanchic who jumped in the Grand Canal at the Venetian Hotel in Vegas–later, gator. 

At times, I trim.  What does this sentence add?  Is it a reiteration of something the reader can pick up from the dialogue?  The action?  If the answer is even a maybe, it goes.  Bye-bye witty aside. Oh how I laughed when I first wrote you, but you must go to excess-word-limbo. 

At times, I nitpick.  Is there one word I can use to replace these three words?  How can I reword this to get the point across in fewer words?  Why does Sed have to repeat his internal thoughts so much?  Because it’s sexy.  Okay, that stays. 

Apparently, “less is more” is not a lesson I ever learned. And now I suffer through these cutting pains. But you know what? Even though I’ve read this book eleventy-million times, I still love it.  I will survive this and come out with an even better book in the end. 

Have you ever had to cut eleventy-million words from something you’d written?  How did you do it?  I’m looking for tips here.  Help!