First draft complete at 16,823 words. (I actually wrote more than 500 words tonight, but I also deleted the last couple hundred words of outline from the end of the file.) I like the character, the story's structure, its emotional arc, a lot of the details. It needs to be streamlined and strengthened, and I think it needs even more period detail, but it's a draft.
I think I'm going to have to treat this draft as raw footage -- like the thousands of hours of tape that comes out of a reality show, most of which will never appear in the forty-one minutes of content that fit in an hour of commercial TV. It has to be a process of picking the bits that are necessary rather than cutting out the bits that aren't. It will mean leaving a lot of darlings on the cutting room floor, but that's the biz.
I can do this. And I will. Starting tomorrow.