The Revision Journal
The wonderful advice available on WWW.HollyLisle.com regarding keeping a Revision Journal is coming in very handy. My Revision Journal is a wirebound black thing similar to a Moleskine (but purchased at the clearance table of Borders for a couple bucks).
Step ONE - the big one - many of my contemporaries pointed out I had too many plot lines. I have excised a whole lawsuit, trial, and murder for hire. It was difficult because I really liked writing that murder. I thought the whole 'murder-for-hire' thing was quite clever. Who knows, it may resurface in another novel.
So the excision reduced the word count by about 30K, bringing it in at about 70K total. Lesley C. Weston says that's a fine word count for a first novel. Besides, I have to go back through and fill in some blanks. I am sticking to my theory of about 85K is good. Right there in the middle of the road.
Now, back to the revisions.