Editing down

I tried a new track on editing the prose rhythm paper today, because I’ve been faced with a daunting obstacle. I have my eye on a journal that I think would be perfect for it, save that this particular publication requires submissions to be inside of 7,500 words, cites and all. As of this morning, mine was about 10,800.

So I went to the library this evening, and made some copies of certain recent articles in this journal that I thought were good models. I then resized my Word document so it roughly matches the font size and layout of the journal, printed it out, and laid them all out side by side on my bed at home (I’ve used a wall in an empty classroom or a series of desks before) and asked myself, “How do I make my article look like these without losing what I want to convey?”

After 4 or 5 hours of trimming, it’s now down to 9,285. This is a real feat for me, as when I typically edit, I edit up, adding new material, not down. Tomorrow I’ll print it out again, ask myself the same damn question, and try to lose another 1,000 words. If I can hit 8,000, it’s going out.

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