I will be the first to admit, I am an over-writer, as it stands my own book is standing at 160k when I’m meant to be aiming for 120k. So quite frankly I need this advice as much you might.
Taking out drifting plot lines
We’re all been there: in the middle night you get this great idea and you begin to plan it, storming to write it down. But in a couple of days the subplot becomes tangled amongst everything else and fizzles. It’s difficult sometimes to let go of ideas even half-finished ones, but they are the fools that drag your work down.
Get rid of unnecessary scenes
Your book is your baby, but you need to STEP BACK and look at your scenes in relation to your overall plot and ask yourself: is this necessary? Of course, you think it is, but ask yourself: why? And be honest with yourself, you’re not going to become a great writer if you delude yourself.
Cut down scenes
Maybe a scene is important, it contains pieces that are necessary to the plot. But is the rest of the scene just filler? This is when you may need to combine scenes, where one element is important and therefore can be moved anywhere, cutting down that word count.
Also, a scene as a whole maybe very important but does it drag between those important parts. If it doesn’t need to be that long; cut it.
Just tell for once
We’re always told to show don’t tell but showing takes time and honestly, we don’t always need a half page essay on the description of someone walking across a room. Being able to take out unnecessary flowery language when simple actions will do will take swathes of words off your manuscript.
This is a small one but an effective one: stop listing. Or at least stop making long lists of examples of food or colours or people, it isn’t necessary, and no one will miss it.
Get rid of redundancies
Now we’re getting into the nitty-gritty. Do you have descriptions that go on and on? Cut it. Do you find yourself describing the long trip from the kitchen to the living room? Cut it. Have sentences that do nothing but make the word count annoyingly large? Cut it!
Sometimes it’s really hard to cut down on those words, (I’m very aware of that) but you just need to keep going at it. Good Luck Xx