Sensible (and totally legit) ways to lower your word count

There will come a time in a writer’s life when word count needs to be lowered. Sometimes, verbose creatures that we are, we waffle. Here are some Totally Legit ways to lower your manuscript’s word count.


Kill Everyone

Ask yourself this: do you really need all those characters? I’m thinking one, maybe two at a push – so they can have a conversation – is more than enough. Get all the killing done off-screen too, then you can resist the temptation of going into graphic, wordy, detail.


Use text-speak

U know wot I mean? It works to keep your messages short and concise, so why not ur novel?

Get rid of all superfluous words

Brains rock. Brains fill gaps. Don’t need every word. Most’ll do.


“I bet you’ve all been scarred by the endless war against stupid modifiers,” Emily extrapolated excitedly. “And adverbs,” she supplemented. “But everyone knows about adverbs.”

“Yeah. They’re mega silly,” Emily’s second persona acquiesced.

But, right… let’s take it to the next level. Let’s remove ALL modifiers. All names, too. Why the hell not? It’ll make your novel like a who-dun-it, but like, a who-said-it. I think I’m really on to something here.


Cut the ending

Loads of successful novels leave stuff open-ended. Chop off the last three chapters and call it a day. It’s edgy.

OK, I know that wasn’t helpful, but I’m trying to let a realllyyy important draft sit for a while and I’m really bored, OK! Sorry. As you were.

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