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Editing, Editing, Editing.

I've tried to make myself scarce with good reason. I'm eyeball-deep in edits on the Adult Fantasy (aka the circus book) while my first YA manuscript is out on subs. For those who don't know, this means my agent submitted it editors at publishing houses.

This is kind of like querying an agent but more detailed and polished. You send in your pitch, full manuscript, some other information, then wait. And wait. And wait. Editors are currently reading the manuscript and will get back to us with their decision. They can reject, make an offer, ask us to revise or submit something else in the future. We won't know until it happens. That's where I am on that.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to get the queer af circus book down to 130,000 words so we can make it as marketable as possible. I'm all about that marketing. (Who would've thought?) The highest word count (WC) was--and I'm not joking--153k. Right now, I'm at 133.1k. I started editing this round at 139.8k. 6.7k of trash and little paragraphs I'll use elsewhere are gone. And all of my author friends are struggling to meet WC while I'm blasting mine out of the water. Good times.

After getting the YA down to 100k from +115k in two weeks, I have a system I'd like to share. I use two tools to crack down word count. One is Excel. Creating a spreadsheet, I track the before and after of each chapter's WC to see how it changes.

I reversed it a little. The number on the left (column B) represents the after or current WC. The number on the right (column C) is the WC from before I started editing. Red means I added words. Green is neutral. Black signifies words were cut. I can look at how long each chapter is, see which chapters are the longest, where I've cut the most from, and where I can cut MORE from. Always more. But save what you've cut in a file! You never know what you can use later.

Then there's my new favorite app, WriteOMeter. It's a free app from the Android Store that feels much like the calculator used during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Sorry, I didn't find it on the Apple Store. WriteOMeter keeps track of my words, my target word count, deadline, and how much I need to write per day to get there. It even has a 25-minute writing sprint timer. Here's an example of the writing log:

So there are two of my fav tricks. Right now, I'm literally doing calculations and equations to get down to word count. If I can cut 50 words per chapter at 62 chapters...carry the 6...I got this. I got this. There's no choice BUT to make it to word count. Good luck to everyone out there who is editing! I'll be using it as a nice distraction while dozens of people read the book I poured my insecurities into. Oh, wow. Didn't think about that. *heavy breathing*


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