4 Ways to Slim Down Your Novel
After reading over the first section of the novel that I’ve just revised, I realize that I want to cut some of it. It’s not bad the way it is, but cutting 10-20% will help.
Beats. One way to do this is to look at the individual beats or actions within a scene. Is each one necessary? Can I shorten each scene in the novel by 10%?
Cut scenes. I also realize that I might could cut one small scene entirely. The problem is that this scene is in the alternate POV, so if I cut it, then I have to give this character a different POV-scene.
Combine scenes. I don’t want too much going on in one scene, it needs to stay focused. But there might be one or two scenes that don’t have a sharp enough focus in this novel. If I take the narrative parts, information that needs to be given to the reader, and put that into other scenes, spread it around, I might be able to eliminate a scene.
Brisker Prose, Please. One critiquer of a novel manuscript asked for, “Brisker prose, please.” This is partly using great verbs, cutting adjectives, etc. But it’s also about writing tighter overall.