I know it’s been a while, and I’m sorry for my absence during the last couple of months, but I have a reason, I do. I was editing my new novel. Yes, kids, it’s what you have to do if you want to make it in the writing industry. But can we talk? This is important and I believe that it deserves your full attention— drill this into your wittle pee brains: WORD COUNT COUNTS.
After I had edited my novel for months, and thought it was ready for query, I did quite a bit of research about what agents’ want and what would be considered slush pile material. When I learned that word count was a HUGE factor in getting rejected, I went back to my manuscript and performed surgery. My word count for my Adult Thriller was at 148,000, and that was waaaay too many words. I had no choice; I had to make cuts. But I have to admit, cutting the fluff makes for a fast-paced, page turner. When you take away superfluous details, and leave in the meat and potatoes, it makes a difference.
I know many of us love to show off our writing skills and creativity by detailing the crap out of our characters and scene locations. But when you’re limited by word count, and you’re not a New York Times best-selling author, then you have to play by the rules or else you’re OUT!
It’s hard enough to make it in the writing world, but to get your manuscript dumped into the slush pile simply because of word count, well damn . . . that’s one swift kick in the ass that’ll definitely hurt.
So, just when you believe that your manuscript is done, edit one more time. You want to make it the best that you can. Give it your all. And when you think that you’re ready to query, READ WHAT THE AGENT WANTS AND THEN GIVE THEM EXACTLY WHAT THEY ASK FOR. Don’t disillusion yourself into thinking that the agent will make an exception with your 200,000 word YA manuscript, because seriously, they won’t. If you submit something like that, then you’ve just given them the perfect excuse to dump your sorry ass. GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT.
I know, I know. No one said it was going to be easy.