I'm in the final trenches of the space opera I've been writing. (Although the characters seem to spend more time fighting in trenches than space).As most of you know, I've been a plotter since Weapons of Choice, which taught me a few hard lessons about not working with a plot outline. For THE CRUEL STARS I have a comprehensive scene-by-scene blueprint in Scrivener. I do let the characters walk their own path if they insist, but we always come back to the main narrative arc.I can see from the outline and the words I currently have in the manuscript bank that this book would run about 30-40% over its contracted word length (90K) if I let it.I'd like to, but can't. The audiobook people, for one, would freak.So this morning is all about taking a knife to that outline.