I managed to cut Pebble down from 127,000 words to 117,00 without too much pain. I simply cut out the whole Kate/Brian subplot, which went nowhere anyway. I also chopped up the chapters, so that now instead of 22 long chapters, there are 79 short ones. That alone should make the book more exciting and engaging to read.
Now that the chainsaw work is done, it's time to go to Round 2, where the work will be a little more difficult, and hence might take me longer. I'll be taking out specific scenes and paragraphs. I'm targeting some of the excess backstory in particular. After that, Round 3, the scalpel work, where I go after individual words and sentences.
My goal is to get this thing down to 100,000 words or less ... about 75% of its original length. If I'm successful, I'll have a shorter story, easier to read, without losing any of its essential elements. Also, it will be easier to sell. But that's got nothing to do with it. Nothing at all. I'm not even thinking about that. Really. I'm not. You believe me, don't you?