After cutting my novel down again from 85,000 to 82,000 words, I had to go through the whole manuscript again to catch the ripple effects of taking a lot out. It is a phenomenon similar to the Butterfly Effect.

I also gave it another edit, changing such things as “sitting down” and “standing up” to “sitting” and “standing.” I also gave it an exclamation mark edit! My 82,612 words had 211 exclamation marks around them! Zounds!

But is that so bad?

That is one ! for every 391 words, 1/391.

Brandon Sanderson’s Way of Kings had 923 exclamation marks, or 1/417.

Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games had 237 exclamation marks, or 1/424.

James Dashner’s The Maze Runner had 255 exclamation marks, or 1/403.

Charlie Holmberg’s Followed by Frost had 193 exclamation marks, or 1/396.

Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana had 433 exclamation marks, or 1/536.

An outlier was Allie Condie’s Matched, which had a mere 40 exclamation marks or 1/2,273.

My 1/391 sounds not so bad. Except I took a bunch out before I knew I was normal.

Now my novel has only 45 exclamation marks or 1/1,836.

I may have to put a few back in.

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