Over the past few days, I added close to 5k to my WIP only to realize what I had tacked on would add a new subplot that doesn't really support the main story.
What did I do about it? I deleted that 5k. Or rather, I clipped those scenes and saved them elsewhere so I can recycle them into another story later...maybe. For this book, though, those scenes are unuseable. They had to go.
This week, so far, I've written, rewritten, edited, and deleted. Rinse, de-wrinkle, repeat. The usual process. However, in terms of progress, it's like trying to ride a bicycle toward the beach during a hurricane. It's a constant struggle. Still, I love these characters, and I believe in them 100%. Their lives interest me. Their problems keep me up at night. These are the people at the house party I'd watch from afar and want to know more about. As Alan Rickman channeling Hilly Kristal would say, "There's something there."
This whole process has been madness, and I'm still wading through the trenches. Every day I wake up obsessed with these characters and their individual stories. I'm constantly looking at the pieces of their lives, aka the mountain of Post-it notes I've used making scene notes about them, and I'm forever trying to make solid connections that link their lives together. Little by little, plot tangle by plot tangle, it's slowly coming together. As it stands right now, the word count is parked at 75,143. I'm happy with that number, but after Wednesday's big chop, I solemnly swear I'm not going to cut a another word from this manuscript until the draft is completed.
So, onward to 85k. That's my minimum safe wordcount for this story. According to several sources, that's the industry standard for this type of novel. I've done the math based on what I have left to write, and I should hit that target by the middle of next week. When all is said and done, I estimate an overage of roughly 2-3k words. We'll have to wait and see. Until then, only 16 Post-it note scene reminders left to sort through, and 9,857 words to go.