I'm finally regaining traction on the book after a long slow spell. I've got scene issues coming together, and my villain problems are largely solved. Most important, I'm becoming much more ruthless in my cuts, writing choices, and scene decisions. I may finally be ready to abandon two, maybe three, large chapters that were the inspirations and touchstones for the entire book. They feel like they belong in a sequel, or another book entirely, or perhaps a really good short story.
I'm fond of the chapters, but the contortions I'm going through to keep them in the book have gotten ridiculous. So, I'm ditching them.