Snip Snip: Are all these words necessary?


I finished my manuscript at 97k words and by the time I went through it again; I had gone down to 95k words. You might say, “How did you end of cut 2,000 words?”. It was easy and I’ll tell you how in just a moment.

My manuscript ended on 17 chapters and 95k words. Initially, when I mapped it out it still had 17 chapters, but it was wordy. I went back to cut words, because like most editors, my editor charged by the word and I wanted to cut down on costs just a tad.

That’s not to say that I wanted to chop off 5,000 words at the cost of my manuscript making sense, because that isn’t at all what I did. As I read through, I noticed a few things.

I was wordy for the sake of being wordy and “looking good” and not for the sake of making sense.

Let’s give an example:

  • “Why? Why would you want to go to the bank on a Tuesday?” Amy asked.

There isn’t anything wrong with what Amy said, but I could say this:

  • “Why would you want to go to the bank on a Tuesday?”

Both statements are fine, but ONLY ONE has cut the word count. There are other things I cut. For example:

  • “You got it from here?” he asked.
    Amy nodded. “Yeah.”
    “Alright. I hope to see you later.”

Now you CAN say this or you can say this:

  • “You got it from here?” he asked.
    Amy nodded.
    “Alright. I hope to see you later.”

Most times a characters action is enough of a response. Try looking for times when a character just says “Okay” or “Yeah” or “Sure” and that’s all they say. I find I never need to put those and I can just continue with what the character would ask or say to the other character in the scene. Here is an example.

  • “Brian?”
    “When’s your birthday?”
    “August 21.”

What we can say instead is this:

  • “Brian, when’s your birthday?”
    “August 21.”

We opted to get to the point. Now if Amy was nervous about asking then you can add some action there to SHOW how she felt, but that is a whole other discussion.

I hope you enjoyed this blog! If you have questions, leave them below or follow me on Twitter! Want to know more about my book? Follow me on Instagram.

Published by authortiffany19

⭐ Live & Create ⭐ ⛑️INFJ⛑️I draw my own characters🎨. Fight & Explore New Worlds! 🔮

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