When writing and maths don’t gel: cutting your word count

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Made by me using pablo…

So, I want to shed 7,000 words from one of my WIPs. It’s about 350 pages long…

Ever the mathematician, I figured it was as simple as deleting 20 words per page and – hey presto – I’d be at my magical number.

100 pages into my cull, and I’m down 1,500 words. Roughly, that equals NOT ENOUGH.

As one of my bosses used to love to say: “Toughen up Princess”. This is not even murdering my darlings, this is just 20 puny words per page. I can do this!

Step 2 is going to be Murdering Some Of Those Darlings (hey, why hold back? entire scenes even??!), so I hope I can step up the word removal before I get to that. I want this draft to be within the accepted norm for word count for a Young Adult.

Cut cut cut!

4 thoughts on “When writing and maths don’t gel: cutting your word count

  1. The first draft for my latest magazine article stands at 4,600 words. Problem is, the article is supposed to be no more than 3,000. I am desperately cutting away and getting more and more depressed. I feel like I am taking the life out of the article by removing its heart, blood, and circulatory system. So, I just played my last hand. Something I’ve never done. I sent an e-mail to the editor. “Would you accept 3,500 words?” I didn’t say “pretty, please” but I felt like doing so.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Thomas, it’s dreadful isn’t it? Sometimes I feel like the unique voice of my character is going down the drain just to cut a few words… that’s when I stop and have a cup of tea.
      Good luck! I hope your editor sees it your way! Heather


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