I've come up with a new slogan:
If writing is a passion then editing is an obsession and its only through our obsessions can we achieve great writing.
I say that because of my 80K word cut has become and obsession with me. I made the first nearly sixty thousand word cut fairly simply by cutting the Wonderland scenes. I hated to do it, but it was necessary to get the word count down. Besides the story is reall about Emily and Alice. The sub plot happening in Wonderland, though intriguing was NOT what the story is about. I'm not trashing the cuts, but putting them aside for a future time.
So that leaves me with another twenty that I have to hack and slash. I know that in latter chapter I'll have to do complete re-writes to change the POV to either Emily or Alice. Which means I have to redo the critical scene with the Queen of Hearts.
I have also decided to chop my first two chapters. The feedback I was getting from critques was that the reader did not get to "know" Emily or got the wrong impression of her. The first five pages - the most critical - sort of dragged to most people. I therefore, have decided to start the book on Chapter 3 (Alice). The new start puts the reader right into the Emily character as she wakes with a massive headache. The first five pages then expands from there to introduce Alice. So now I have the two main characters introduced in the first 1500 words. And I think it will hook the reader into wanting to read on to find out what is going on.
The whole rave scene is not completely cut though. In the second chapter Emily must tell Alice what happened at the rave, so I decided to combine the first two chapters (cutting most of the first and the beginning of the second). I just need to make sure that the reader knows for sure that it is a flash back scene. I also needt to keep the word count down. That is the hardest part.
But on a more positive note I have what I think is a complete first chapter. It has been polished and "wife approved". I'm still concerned with the first paragraph, but I'll see what others think of it.