I went to hear the author Michael Connelly speak in Seattle last night. His books are great — thrillers with more depth (and much more variety) than most. Unlike many authors, he talked about his work rather than read from his latest book. Turns out he does it the “Getting Real” way (although he never called it that). No outline. No database of characters (even though he brought back characters from a book he wrote 15 years earlier). Basically, he said he starts with the first scene in mind, and the last. Then he just starts. Sometimes he gets stuck (which is why he brought back a character from 15 years ago). But he said he wants to spend his time working on his book, not “working” on outlines and plans.

An email from SvN reader Harvey Motulsky