I actually finished cutting down my new novel, The Upside of Down, from over 80,000 words to about 74,000. It was brutal, but I think the end result is a much tighter story. I ended up taking out some redundant dialogue and scenes, combining tags with actions, and purging it of some of my "pet" words. I'm hoping it didn't harm the story, but rather made it better.
I still don't have a release date but I'm thinking it'll be springish 2011. I hope it'll be out before the next LDStorymakers Conference in May.
I'm now taking an online class on characterization through WriterU, http://www.writeruniv.com/, with CJ Lyons, a popular novelist. I'm enjoying the class because it also covers plotting. Her method is somewhat similar to Larry Brooks' method over at http://www.storyfix.com/. I'm going to use this new information to help me plot my next novel.
My next novel, the one that won't leave me alone, is a YA paranormal. Think Twilight meets Supernatural, but without vampires. I'm currently fleshing out ideas using Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake method. Summer doesn't give me a lot of writing time, especially since my daughter decided she wanted to get married and on top of all the planning, I'm sewing bridesmaids' dresses. How cool is that? Not. I'm hoping to have a first draft complete by September.