I feel like shouting as Theoden, King of Rohan, did: VICTORY!!!
Three years to the day of finishing draft #1 of MERLIN’S BLADE, I have successfully cut the book down to 105,000 words!
Three years ago it was 154,000 words long, so the last twelve drafts have been quite a process of improving the novel and whittling it down to its most essential and important best.
And each time I think I can cut no further, I find a way, painful though it is. And MERLIN’S BLADE is a better book, by far, than it ever was.
Why am I trying to get my book cut down to near 100,000 words? The reason is that most of the major Christian publishers hold that word count as a close limit on books they will publish.
If they go above that by much, they won’t make as much profit on the book.
And with the current economy such that it is, profitability is the difference between bankruptcy and many more years of service and ministry.
How do I know that this limit exists? I have made it a point to talk to agents and authors to verify it.
No, I didn’t get to exactly 100,000 words, but I think I’m close enough to make the book much more enticing to a publisher. Could I cut more? Probably. But I’ll need more inspiration than I have now to accomplish it. Also, at this point a publisher could easily fiddle with the font and margins to make it fit.