Today I finished the first edit of an entire novel. It's not a professional edit; I'm not a professional editor, but for the first time, I read aloud the entire 52,139 words that make up my second completed novel and the first one I've considered submitting for publication.
When I read the last word, I realized something.
I a a murderer of words.
As I read through the novel, it was the first time I saw those words since I wrote them last November. Doing this exercise tells you a lot of things. It is sometimes surprising when you read a passage that seems to be above your ability. It does happen. It's like you're reading someone else's manuscript, someone else's words.
Of course, there's the opposite. You read stuff you can't believe you wrote, and not in a good way. I found I wrote a lot of extra words, a lot of thoughts--especially at the end of sentences--that just didn't need to be there. I've attended many lectures where authors said they had to do a lot of cutting from their original manuscript before the book was published. I can relate now. And, I'm sure I'll relate even more if I happen to sell this story and have it professionally edited. Hopefully, we'll see.
So, for the past three days, I've read my book and deleted--or, murdered--a lot of words, so many words. But, from their deaths, a better story, an improved script will emerge.
At least, that's the goal.