I sort'ov achieved what I promised. I edited like crazy the past several days, worked many hours, spent more than ten hours yesterday alone editing. (Sad I know, but I skipped the NYE partying this year for a higher goal.) In the past week, I've cut literally hundreds, actually several thousand words, but there's still work to do.
I'm now at 115K words, and in my query letter, I claimed that my novel is "a completed, women's literature novel of approximately 110K words".
Just so you know, this cutting words is not as easy as it sounds, unless you're some type of horror-movie-slasher. Each word in my novel is a beautiful baby that I brought into existence. Deleting them is like killing kittens. Maybe worse. Let's just say, it's a horrible, horrible experience because writers do tend to fall in love with their own writing.
But I've gotten down-right maudlin. To get a agent/publisher to pay attention to a new writer, a novel should be 110K or less no matter how dear those sweet little kittens are. (And how is that even possible? to write a novel of less than 110K words?) So sadly, even if my novel, at 115K words, is the next Pulitzer prize winner, I have to cut it down to 110K words or less because as in any other field of work, newbies have to play by the rules, have to prove themselves. There is no stretching the rules on POV or tense or word count for a new author. So I'm playing the game, trying to meet the requirements, because I want to get published, the traditional way.
Yes, right now, I'm leaning toward traditional publishing. I started writing this d*#ned book before self-publishing was in vogue, before it was acceptable or the new way to go. I want to prove myself, the old fashion way, by getting an agent and publisher. I know it's crazy these days, and I may end up self-publishing, but for me, there's something to be said for being "accepted", for being admitted into the good-ole-"author's" club.
With that said, I'm sending the query letter this coming week, and will use the time in between to keep editing. I'll keep killing kittens until I get my novel under 110K words. Muhahahahahahaha.
Yes, all this stuff makes a body a little crazy.