The letter F stands for the FAT, and learning how to cut it from your manuscript. If your looking for ways to edit down your manuscript to a more appropriate word count, here are some small steps to take that will make HUGE impact.
CUTTING THE FAT TIPS: USE THIS, NOT THAT!
*START WITH THE SMALL STUFF: This means the adverbs, adjectives, unnecessary dialogue tags, repetitive words and phrases, and the tedious action sequences (blow-by-blow details).
1. ADJECTIVES: Don't use more than one adjective per noun.
Use This: The cocoa colored chihuahua...
Not That: The short, brown, pointy-eared dog...
2. ADVERBS: Instead of an adverb, use a stronger verb.
Use This: The girl panted.
Not That: The girl exhaled intensely.
3. AVOID OVERUSING DIALOGUE TAGS: If the reader can tell who's speaking, you don't need a dialogue tag!
4. DON'T OVEREXPLAIN ACTIONS. We don't need a blow-by-blow account of everything.
Use This: I slammed the car door.
Not That: I waltzed to the car, opened the door, and slammed it shut.
This is usually what I do first when cutting the fat. A valuable lesson I learned from a fabulous author friend and one of my awesome critique partners who butchered my manuscript. I have cut at least 10-15% of the MS already! I will include more cutting the fat tips in future posts, so stay tuned!