“Kill your darlings” is one of the most repeated bits of writing advice out there, but how do you know which darlings to murder? You need to decide what to cut from a novel, but it can be tricky.
Word counts matter. They don’t matter endlessly, as novels like Twilight attest, but an overly long novel will adversely impact your odds of finding traditional publication, especially for a debut.
And even if you’re self-publishing, no one wants to slog through a novel from an author who never once pressed the “delete” button in the course of writing a 7,000 page tome.
If you are starting with a more average word count it’s still helpful to tighten things up as much as possible, so this post is for you too.
Here’s how to know what to cut from a book. And it’s probably not what you’d think!