How does a writer keep to the posted word count without losing all those inspired phrases? And why does it matter?
Editors have reasons for setting a maximum word count. Besides the premium of space in a publication, a stipulated word count attracts and creates writers with clear and effective writing. Slashing words from a manuscript is an exercise all writers should practice because it helps them discover their main idea. Finding that treasure gives them a tool designed to slice and dice until their manuscript is clear and easy to read.
Agatha Christie wrote 80 crime novels, many collections of stories, 19 plays and six novels under a pseudonym. Her books are only outsold by the Bible and Shakespeare. By any standards, she is a successful writer so maybe we can learn a thing or two from her.