I started with a manuscript of almost 90,000 words. I'm halfway through a comprehensive line edit and it's down to 77,000. And everything I've taken out has made it better. I've dropped two bad characters, streamlined a bad plot development, and made the dialogue a lot less grating. Plus, with all that baggage gone, it moves a bit faster, which is always good in a commercial piece.
I don't know what the future of the book is, but I'm stoked to have something I'm proud enough of to want to make better. Revision is hard work, but it's like sanding a wood sculpture in that you see the shape of the thing emerge.
Kerouac was a fool.