I need to cut my MS, by a couple thousand words.
My alpha reader turned to spreadsheeting the work to figure out where I could cut, where I needed to cut, and to make sure I wasn't mentioning things twice (something I tend to do) or cutting something that I want to keep in the story.
It's comforting to know I'm not the only one who's done this. This blog post, The Spreadsheet: The Giant Tamer, is about the best I've seen on how to do this. My challenge is not so daunting -- she reduced 230,000 to 150,00 words! She's a pro. She provides copies of examples of the spreadsheets and lists the columns she used and how she used them.
The spreadsheet will enable me to see -- qualitatively -- where I can strengthen by cutting, where my pacing lags, and where I spend too much time on characterization, setting, etc.
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