A few weeks ago, as prelude to reading the pages I'd ponied up for workshop, I realized that I'd reached that point where the information I now have about my characters needs to be woven into the earlier chapters.
Typically, we wait until completing an entire first draft before attempting this, lest we act out of premature assumption. I get this, truly I do. But for me, it's like reaching a plateau on a climb up a steep mountain. You know all about false summits, but still, you stop and admire the landscape beneath and retool for the rest of the climb. Perspectives shift, periodically, and imho it's never a bad time to align oneself with this dynamic, shifting perspective.
Not everyone can or should honor this process, I understand, but I know enough about the peaks and valleys of my own creative sensibilities to listen to this whisper in my ear. I'm at the print-out and rewrite stage, and so my forward progress will come from the center, rather than the end for this next little while. As for the word count? It may shrink. But then again, maybe not.