I came to the end of the manuscript in my latest quest to get the story down to 50,000 words.  I'm still at 61,000 words, however.  I'll take another crack at the beginning of the story with my #1 editor and see what we can do and still preserve the essence of the characters and the st
 
Progress is slow, but I'm chipping away.
I've entered the Irene Goodman Historical Novel pitch contest.  Entries were due by July 1 and the winner will be announced in August. 
 
After more than a fortnight break, I'm back to editing.  I need to edit out about 16,000 more words to reach my goal of 50,000 to make the book suitable for Middle Grade readers.
 
See the "Awards" tab above on this website to find out the details and watch a video of her pitch.
 
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I've now cut an additional 20,000 words since my last post from the original 116,000 word manuscript.  (49,000 words cut in all).  Now at 67,000 words.  The goal is to get the manuscript down to a size more common to middle school level books which is around 50,000.
The end of this week is the 199th anniversary of Napoleon's invasion of Russia.  On the night of June 23rd, the French engineers built three pontoon bridges across the Nieman river.  The following day, the 24th, the army began to cross from Poland into Russia.
 
This morning I began my 4th editing pass through the manuscript.  I think this one will be the toughest: cutting down on the beginning of the story while maintaining the storylines that carry through to the end.
 
I've started the process of cutting even more of the manuscript.  My #1 editor (wife Sandie) and I talked about where the story should go and how the first part of the book could be trimmed while still maintaining the story lines.
There is now a plan for cutting down the first half of the manuscript and an idea for the sequel to Russian Snows which will involve bigger parts for some of the characters introduced in Russian Snows.
 
With two chapters to go, I've cut 28,000 words out of the manuscript.  This will put the total word count around 85,000.  Still too long for a Middle School/Young Adult novel.
Leaning toward making two books: one before the campaign and one during the campaign.  The tricky part will be how to handle the story lines that cross over.
 
I am working on cutting the story by 30,000 words.  When the first draft was completed in late January, the total word count was over 116,000 words including notes and glossary.  The general concensus is that this is too long for my target audience of 12 - 16 year-olds (although perhaps not long enough for history buffs).
My goal is to cut 30,000 words from the manuscript to move the story along faster.  As of today, I have trimmed out over 18,000 words.  Once I have finished my editing, I'll turn it over to others to edit and read to make sure the story still hangs together.
This is my third editing pass through the story and I can feel it getting better each