There are a variety of ways to write a novel, and one integral step is to outline the story. Outlines can be as broad or specific as the writer desires. For example, the first novel in my Fanzam series had a sparse outline, detailing major plot points only. Everything in-between was based on free-writing, meaning I had no idea where the story would go until I sat down and actually wrote it. In this way, the book "wrote itself."