word count

Chop, Chop, (Choppity Chop) #AtoZChallenge – Peculiar ‘Pen fellows’ – Quirks only a writer can understand


Chop, Chop, (Choppity Chop)

For writers well traversed with the short story, a sweet novella, or an anthology or two, then keeping and sticking to a word limit should be a breeze *cough – yeah right – cough.*

Seriously, though. Most writers will experience a time when their precious words face the chopping block. Like the times when you’re bitten by the bug, inspiration strikes, and you start binge writing like the words are going to run out. Not only will you come out of the fog deliriously happy (or happily delirious), you’ll also have to wait for the major low of realising some of it has to go. Yes, you’re about thirty thousand over your limit, and those babies are not going to make the cut.

Okay, so I’m exaggerating. A little. But there’s nothing worse than pouring your heart onto the page and realising that you need to start hacking away. And I’m not talking about cutting the chaff, the run-on sentences and poor word choices that you’ll happily bury behind the delete button. No, I’m talking about the scenes that don’t make you cringe, the ones you’re actually proud of.

It’s tough. If you’re lucky it means the story develops into something more, from a novella to a full-length novel, or a series. If not, well, sometimes you have to sacrifice those well-earned words and hope they don’t haunt you!

Of course, there are ways to condense your work, ways that allow you to save your precious little gems from the chopping block. You’ll find lots of useful tips from fellow writers, not to mention support from editors, but a useful article caught my eye (the title certainly did!). If you want to check it out, you’ll find ‘How to cut thousands of words without shedding a tear’ by Rachelle Gardner here.

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