I did a 6,000 word cut today. I'm so proud of myself!
Actually, it was several cuts. I had already red-penned my manuscript, X-ing out long passages and removing entire subplots. When I took the MS to my computer today (it was a day off!) I discovered even more passages that could be deleted.
Now, of course, I'll have to read through the 4 chapters that are left to see if 1) I can cut anything else and 2) if what I left still makes sense.
I'm thinking of skipping the whole agent hunt and just submitting directly to the publisher. I've already sent this novel (Forging a Legend) to several agents more than once. Tor, Baen and Ace Books all still take unsolicited manuscripts. Submitting to all three of them will take about a year. I also could go for some contests, but not very many are for novels. I have two languishing short stories I could enter. "The Sevenfold Spell" was supposedly going to be accepted (good news), but I think the magazine is now defunct (bad news). The other--"Petroleum Sunset"--I just haven't sent anywhere lately. I know. I can't sell it if I don't send it.