I wasn't shocked when a recent edit of MIND SHADOW cut the word count by 9,000 (see previous blog entry) and made the novel so much better. After that encouraging experience, I turned my editing attention back to my latest novel, STRUCK -- and cut 5,000 words. That word reduction was more surprising, at least it was at first. After all, STRUCK is newly completed, recently edited. But I'd never taken a good break from it until I spent time with MIND SHADOW, and you really need a break so you can see your own work more clearly.
There were big differences in how I pruned back the word counts. MIND SHADOW had a major tune-up, changes to each and every page, sometimes extensive ones, but I didn't change events or a single scene's focus. In STRUCK, the reduction came from cutting entire scenes and changing some of the things chapters emphasized.
I'm thrilled with the slightly leaner, slightly redirected STRUCK. I also learned something: my next novel needs more paranormal elements. More on that next time. Until then, check out the first chapter of STRUCK.