I can't pretend I wasn't daunted by the enormity of reducing my 118500 word novel by 45000 words or so to make it marketable in the Middle Grade publishing world, but I went about it anyway.  At the end of about ten days of furious editing, I've completed my first pass of the book and reduced it to 99,700 words, a reduction of almost 19,000. 

Most of this was achieved by simply going through sentences and trying to find a way to say the same thing in less words ("She had seen" becomes "She saw" etc) as well as removing the odd sentence that didn't seem to be adding anything to the story.  So I've dropped under the psychologicallally significant (for me) 100,000 word mark without any significant changes.  I was also amazed how many typos, omitted words and sentence fragments I found despite going through the whole manuscript about a dozen times and having several friends do line by line proofreading to boot.  The early drafts before anyone saw the book must have been made up of mostly errors!

I've now started the second pass and this will be a little more difficult.  I'm going to look for things I can safely take out of the book and keep for book two, as well as going over the earlier work to see if I missed anything.  The main issue is that I've gotten most of the low hanging fruit, so from here on in it becomes harder.  I need to lose about 25,000 words but not damage the characters or the plot so I think this will be slower going.  I have recourse to expert advice when I need it, but most of the work takes place on evenings so the less I have to ask, the better.

I'm just keeping in mind that the goal is to make the thing publishable and I have good reason to believe I'll get somewhere if I do, so that will keep me motivated enough to keep going. Ok. Back to page one.....