Length. Anne Buist here touches on something that can be quite hard or extremely easy to do — though if it’s easy, I’d hazard a guess and say maybe you have too much stuff in your manuscript. And if it’s hard, gird your loins and be ruthless. Nods. It’s still going to suck, but it’ll be worth it in the end.
So, imagine you’ve written your manuscript — your mystery or crime novel as Anne does — and you’re asked to cut down the word count. Given I do much of the asking as an editor, part of me always feels guilty for saying, hey this part that is xxx chapters long really doesn’t work, so I think it should be cut out in order to make your narrative tighter and also help the pacing and I know you worked months (sometimes years) on this, but it has to go.
I fully expect a WTH moment from the author. It’s hard hearing that. Sometimes, it doesn’t all have to go of course, if there’s middle ground that results in something else, something better, then I’m all for it with bells on.
Have you read a book with parts that you think should have been cut?