Well, gentle readers, I did it. I worked on Masquerade for most of the day yesterday and cut 7000 words. I can't really believe I did it but my word count says, 98,234 so I must have. I was brutal. I skim read and if I found something that didn't move the story along, out it came. I saved everything I cut and put it in another file just in case I may need it later (I'm anal that way) when I get famous and someone asks me a question I don't know the answer to, I can refer back to that. LOL. (I love my fantasy life).
I left Richard in. I know, I know, but every time I tried to cut him out, he had a relevant conversation going on that added to the plot. So he remains. For now. There is once scene he has with Penny and Robert that is really, REALLY schmaltzy but I couldn't let it go. Just for that very reason. It also sort of adds to Penny's charm and another of the reasons why William and she get together, or rather why the Duchess of Caymore allows them to be together.
It's funny too, I never thought I would ever do this, but I have to tell you, when I got to the resolution, I cried. AGAIN. When I wrote it, I teared up because I was actually writing it out of context. When I read the whole thing for the first time, I bawled like a baby and I surprised myself. Everytime thereafter when I read it, I kind of teared up again, well, because I knew what was going to happen. Now, after having it sit for so long, when I got to the end, I sort of forgot all the little details I wrote in, so they struck me anew. And I bawled like a baby. (My Small One was worried, "Mommy are you all right?") And I thought to myself, that's how I judge a good book; if I cry at the end -- out of happiness, not frustration. So, at least I know I wrote a book that pleases me. *giggle*
Now I guess it's back to the beginning for more. I guess I have to go and do some more research to find the right word counts -- I've heard anywhere from between 85 - 95 thousand. Ugh. Hopefully, it will be easier (yeah, right) but all the big stuff is gone so now it's just a matter of tightening up. Here we go, wwwweeeeeeee!!!!!