I really like the Earth Men plot. It hits close to home and it's a very real possibility. Radicalization can happen around any cause, and the more a population grows, the easier it is for groups to form around terrifying ideals.
Unfortunately, while the Earth Men were tied closely to the plot, its integration just felt contrived. Not the plot, just its placement into the story. It's the part I spent writing more in yesterday, but it's been weighing on me for days, ever since reviewing my work from 2011. And if I am being further introspective, I had concerns back then.
And so... it's gone. At least from the first book in the series. I suspect it will take a prime focus, instead of a sub-plot to the story-line in the second book, but definitely no later than the third.
It was painful. Set my word count back by a couple thousand (now at 8,497). But it felt good.
The rest of my writing tonight was centered on realigning the story accordingly. Now that I can focus more on the other plots, fleshing them out more, I want to ensure the pace has the right ups and downs.
How have I approached it? I started free typing questions. Questions about the MC, about his support group, and his motivations. About what he is doing, and why is he where he needs to be at key junctures now that the Earth Men are not in the picture. No direct writing occurred in the WIP, but a whole lot of cutting and questioning.
I feel it's more compelling already.