How to Tighten Your Manuscript

cutting snowflakesI’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a preview:

Is your book too long? Does it feel a bit wordy, perhaps slightly bloated?

Or . . . does it feel perfect but it’s a little high in word count?

There comes a time in every writer’s life when the need arises to shorten a manuscript. Ack! Not my precious words! Even if your word count is fine, most writers would benefit from tightening up their manuscripts before submission. (I, for one, would appreciate it.) But how do you do this?

(For example, in the previous sentence, I’d cut the words “simply” and “anyway,” and I might even cut “significantly.” The writing is cleaner and I’m down by three words.)

If you cut 12 words per page in a 350-page manuscript, you’ve already shortened it by 4,200 (unnecessary) words. Easy peasy.

So how do we do this? Here’s a checklist of things to consider cutting.

Click HERE to read the post at Books & Such.


Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


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  4. Jeanette Andersen on October 9, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    Thank you for keeping us informed, Rachelle. Your the best.