I went through the returned MS and cut every word I could. I did a document-wide search for then and just, which are two words I overuse. I cut most adverbs and even some adverbial phrases. And if there were only a few lines on a page at a chapter's end, I'd go back and find other stuff to cut until I lost that extra page.
Also cut the two chapters that deal with the State Band plot, since that seems more like a tangent. I'll replace those later with more of an exploration of Kay's relationship with Mom and Wyatt "Gatlin Gun" McStudmeister.
I'm on page 200 in the MS and have cut 50 pages thus far.
So little cuts all through the MS will get you a long way.
Both agents that requested the MS said no. I've sent out eight more queries. Nothing yet. Sometimes you catch a fish, sometimes you don't.
I'd like someone to take me on who can help me with this novel-within-a-novel conceit. That's the thing that's kicking my tail right now.
Back to work, since I have to incorporate 127 more pages of corrections. I'm getting there! But man, I wish I could go faster.