Originally Posted by J Winterbottom
I try to outline as much as I can, but I find that the characters tend to hijack the story a bit and often won't allow me to take them on the path I planned out.
I find that generally means you didn't outline enough. Your outline (and notes, especially character notes) should include enough detail to ensure your characters WILL go in the direction you desire, even when they themselves don't want to. If the action doesn't feel natural to them... work on the outline and notes some more.
There's no point writing a story that hinges on a character's particular reaction... only to reach the critical point and realize your character won't go there. You're the author, and you're in control; don't let your character-creations control you.
(On the other hand, I'm a failed SF author, so any advice I give is pretty much worthless! Listen to Lake, and just write like he does; you'll be better off.)