An upside to spending the last 2-3 years writing short stories is I’ve gotten a lot better at cutting. Come revision time, I can slice 5-10% off a story without crying out in anguish at all the brilliance I’m deleting. Sanding down sentences and extracting extraneous or redundant description is usually enough to hit the mark. When I can identify irrelevant scenes or subplots, as with my story upcoming at Reflection’s Edge, I’ve slashed out as much as 30% of the total word count. (Cutting almost always makes a story better, of course, but I think it’s funny in a not-so-funny way I’m putting in more work to get paid less–many places pay by the word. Granted, without those edits, they might decide not to pay me anything at all…)

My goal for The Roar of the Spheres has been to cut at least 5% per chapter. If I come to the end and haven’t hit the mark, I’ll go back for a second pass.

I haven’t had to do that yet.

I’m averaging a 7.5% cut per chapter. Through six, about a fifth of the full novel, I’ve dropped over 1500 words. At that rate, the draft will fall from 102.5K to 95K. By the time I’m done, this shit will be streamlined as a dolphin!

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