[eta: this has been sitting in draft since last night]
After a remarkably unproductive day yesterday, I am back on the horse. Almost four hours of keyboard time, focused on moderate to major cuts. Didn’t get all the way through the mss, but put a good chunk of it under the virtual red pencil.
Got it down from 198,900 to 171,700. I think I’ll end this pass around 165,000, with any luck. That’s still overlength, but not insanely so, to the degree that I can do a third pass for tightening, grabbing [bracket notes] and general fit, finish and corrosion, with an eye to trimming, and hope to hammer it below 160,000.
We shall see. I’m actually quite pleased with how well this is going.