All writers have their own process for writing a book. It may change with each story that they work on. Some follow their writing muse and let the story grow as they write. Others need only to plot out their beginning then rely on their muse to guide them. Many writers do extensive research first and after write the story. And then there are some who research and outline each chapter.
I've tried all of the above. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
For my first romantic suspense I wrote by the method of following my muse.
Muse is code for I didn't know what the heck I was doing from chapter to chapter, but I followed my heart. That book is still hand written and hidden in a box somewhere in the attic.
The next story I knew how I wanted to open the book. My inspiration was a lighthouse on the Oregon coast that was rumored to be haunted. I'd done my research, visited the lighthouse, and was ready to start writing. Yet, I didn't know what was going to happen in my story from one chapter to the next. I was still relying on my muse.
After this experience I decided I needed to know the beginning and ending of my stories before I started writing. And that has worked very well for me. I have written many novels using this process. Give me the beginning and the ending and I'm good to go.
And then I started working on my new WIP. I had the beginning and the ending scenes in mind, and I even wrote a synopsis, so I knew what needed to happen in the book. BUT I have been struggling. So for the first time ever I've written a chapter by chapter outline of the novel on my handy dandy white board.
This isn't my white board, because right now mine has my story all over it. I can't tell you what a relief it is to look up at the board and know what I need to work on for the day.
So here is my Wednesday writing tip: always be open to try a new process to write your story.
Do you have a routine that works for you? Please share. I may give it a try for my next book.