I turned in my latest round of revisions yesterday.
To sum them up:
I cut 4,000 words. I can't remember the specific words. Maybe that's why I cut them. Because they were unmemorable.
I also cut an entire character.
Two revisions ago (yes, I mark time by past revision deadlines) I created a character named Ferron. She had dreadlocks, and she could really kick butt. However, despite her lithe appearance, she had a bad habit of bulking up the storyline.
So I had to cut her. I started with her fingers, then I cut her toes.
Finally, my study was filled with severed limbs, but my story was leaner.
Revising is a give and take between the writer and the editor. Getting rid of Ferron was my editor's idea at first. When I wrote Ferron in, my editor was all:
"I like her! But I think we should either flesh her out, or cut her."*
So I fleshed Ferron out. I gave her a backstory and a love interest. And for more fleshy addition, I added some flesh colored pants for her to wear.
I sent it back to my editor, and I was all, "Fleshy enough for you?"
And she was all, "Not quite fleshy. More bloated." Then she gently said, "Let's either make her useful, or cut her."
And I came back with, "But she has dreadlocks! And she can kick so high!"
But here's the thing: no matter how cool she was (admittedly much cooler than I will ever be) she was dragging the storyline down. And my editor was smart enough to give me a chance to see it for myself. That takes an incredible amount of patience!
So, let's lower our heads, and give a moment of silence for the loss of Ferron. She will be missed. Only by me. Readers, however, will be happy she's gone.
Before I actually finished my first book, I heard authors talk of "writing practice scenes" and then deleting them. I couldn't imagine deleting an entire scene, because it took me so long to write every word. But so far, on the EVERNEATH sequel, I've deleted nearly 40,000 words.
That's a book's worth. It's getting much easier for me to delete words.