A: Ix-nay to the book outline-ay. I know this sounds odd, but I’ve written three novels now (two still unpublished – DID YOU HEAR THAT, SIMON & SCHUSTER???) and I haven’t made anything but the briefest of outlines for any of them. I start by drafting detailed character profiles, but the most sketchy outline you’ve ever seen. Then I turn the characters lose and let the story evolve from their interaction. It sounds crazy, I know, but this is what works for me. The interplay of the characters often creates surprises even I don’t anticipate.