I wrote Scythe of Silas and am now writing short stories that are related to the novel and to the world--the Arch of Time universe. Today I found myself too far into the minutae of the continuity of the universe to be fully effective with the short story, Killing Words.
At one point in Killing Words, there was a door in the Temple of Jared that would has no function in that story. I left it there. It confused my protagonist for a time. But it was not essential for the story. But that door is crucial for the novel and is right there in the protagonist's way.
In trying to cut the story by 400 words, I realized that about 150 words involved a door that served no function. The word count disciplined me to do the right thing for the story--to eliminate the door.
So what about the novel? Perhaps the issue will never arise. My mental picture of the Temple of Jared pinpoints the door. But a reader of the novel has no picture of where the door is. So the issue is likely invisible in the novel.
When I can put aside such issues without being prompted by word count limits, I will be a better writer.