Let’s get back to writing.
You may know the situation: you have a story that’s not quite working. You show it to some people, and get a couple of very different responses. You may have submitted it somewhere, and one or two people, including most likely, the editor of the magazine where the story was rejected, say that the story is too long and you should cut some aspect.
OK, you’ve done that, but now the story is soul-less. Because what you’ve cut was an element of worldbuilding, and the story has become white-roomy and bland. Yes, the plot may move more quickly, but there is nothing special about the story anymore.
Yes, I’ve just done all this. I had a story that was about 9000 words, cut it and cut it and cut until it was 5500 words, and am now left with a story that’s complete but bland.
In cutting, in listening to the ‘cut this’ as standard response to something the reader found boring, I probably made a mistake. I shouldn’t cut it. I should expand it. I should spend time working the worldbuilding elements into the story in such a way that the characters engage with them. There is a lot more in this story than a one-horse plot, but for it to come out it needs more words, not fewer. This is not a short story. It’s a novella.
Recognise this feeling?