Having talked to many other writers, I know there are many ways to write a book--but this is what I do, and what I am doing right now with my work in progress.
Because I write two series and go back and forth between them, right now I'm working on a Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel. I have an ongoing cast of characters, so one thing I need to do is touch on each of the main characters' lives and what challenges they are facing this time around.
However, this book will focus on Officer Gordon Butler. Gordon manages to get himself into trouble without even trying--things never work out for him the way he hopes. Maybe things will look up for him in this book.
I have a general idea of what I want to happen--and as always, I need to introduce a whole slew of new characters--the murder victim and all those who revolve around her and the case. This means, appropriate names, physical descriptions and personalities--and all must work with my idea for the plot.
I've had to do a bit of research about the plot, but now I'm ready to forge ahead. If there's more I need to know, I can research as I go along.
These first chapters are hard to churn out. I find myself doing other less desirable tasks like cleaning house or the laundry. Yes, these things have to be done, but I know writers who put all that off while they are writing. I'm not wired to do that.
I'll keep on working until I finally finish. Then I'll read the chapters one by one to my critique group who will have lots of ideas and corrections for me. Once all the chapters have been worked on by the critique group and me again. I'll send it off to someone to edit it for me before I send it to my publisher.
She'll do some editing too and then the book will be sent back and forth a couple of times as it gets combed for mistakes before the final publication.
Sound simple? Believe me, it's not.
Now instead of writing this, I need to get back to Chapter 3.