So far in my investigation of how I shortened my manuscript, I've explained the big picture concepts that allowed me to cut 35,000 words without changing the story, and I've delved into the nitty-gritty of some recurring opportunities for compression. To wrap up this series, I'll share a before-and-after excerpt.
A couple of years ago, during a previous round of revision, I made a similar post, and I considered using the same passage again. However, the new changes don't serve as the best example, so I've picked another section to look at. You can still check out that old post for an illustration of the ideas I've been talking about (as well as an illustration of the infinite repeatability of this process). And in case you're wondering, I chopped 65 more words from that scene, including the narrator sitting down and then a minute later moving to his wife's side, a pair of actions that struck me as glaringly unnecessary.
I selected today's excerpt because it shows off a number of the small-scale strategies I discussed for saying the same thing in fewer words. The scene also makes sense out of context, though I'm riddled with anxiety that out of context, every page of my novel seems ridiculous and uninteresting. You don't need any information to understand what's happening here, but I'll mention that the narrator is the son of the narrator from the scene I used before.