So I made it into Stage 2 of the Harlequin #Blurb2Book contest! I'm super-excited, and in fact, I've spent the past couple of weeks obsessing over my synopsis, cover letter, and pages. I sent them in last week, and now I'm turning my attention to the full manuscript.
The premise of this contest is to go from blurb to full book in just 5 months. I'm sort of cheating, because my book has been finished since January. I've edited it a couple of times and my critique group has read the first three chapters.
But, according to Harlequin's Love Inspired guidelines, my book is also 13,000 words too long. So now, as I go back to the full manuscript, I am looking for places to cut. A lot of places. I've done this before, but it is always a difficult process. When we write, we put in scenes we think we need. So now I have to decide what I don't actually need in order to meet the guidelines of the contest.
Whether I make it into Stage 3 or not, I think this will be a valuable edit. I'll have to evaluate character, plot, and motivation on a deeper level, which is never a bad thing.
Have you ever had to cut a lot of words? How did you go about doing it?