My #writer friends will understand when I observe the irony around the first two books in my trilogy.
For book 1, I cut a 121K manuscript down to 87K words. I axed scenes, subplots, weak jokes, convoluted exchanges, and long-winded phrasing.
The lessons of such an exercise permeate your entire writing habit after awhile, and you become akin to a sharper knife (sorry Heather Webb). So I can safely say that even the first draft of my second book, which is nearly complete, has much less of these problems. Especially since so much was dictated, and edited both in my transcription process, and again integrating into actual scenes.
No, the irony isn’t that I have too many words again, it’s that now I’m on the other end of the spectrum, with a mere 65K to follow the previous book (should I successfully sell it or publish it myself). I just finished the climax, and I don’t expect the denoument to be much at all. I have plenty of TODOs in the book, plenty more I can revisit and add to, but I’d really hoped it would “feel” complete with about another fifteen thousand words.
I’m going to have to give it some thought and see what I can do with it. I can think of one subplot or two to heighten more, and there are some major scenes I can extend and make more of. And I need to dot-plot the action and see how it looks to me structurally.