After a major edit of my novel, I dropped it down by about 21,000 words. That ends up to be just about 21% of the words.

And the story didn’t change a bit.

Like. At all.

That’s a good sign I had a problem.

I’m going to go through it again soon. This time for pacing, to make sure I didn’t take out anything important or rush anything too badly. It’ll probably grow again. But I feel good about the edits I made.