Every time I start a new book I'm starting at the beginning...again. Now you would think after writing 20 books, that somehow I'd have this down and everything would be super simple. I'd know my process. Yeah, that's only in fiction - and in the minds of those who truly believe you can knock out a book in a weekend. Every book is a new adventure. I learn something about myself as a writer and how far I can stretch and what will work that didn't before or what worked before that won't work now.
Case in point: I've gotten approval from one of my editors to start a romantic suspense book, and the nod from a different editor to continue writing the dark fae urban fantasy I threw onto the back burner a few years ago when I had to go back to working full time. Neither book wants to be written like the other. I say the book wanting it, because once you get into a story, it, not you, dictate how it will roll out and how stubborn or graceful it will be flowing onto the page.
I've done plot boards a plenty, and character notes like you wouldn't believe, but there's always a point at which you have to start slapping words on a page to make it turn into a real book. No words = no pages = no book. For the suspense book, the dialog is what's coming out first. Don't know why, but that's how it is working. For the urban fantasy it's an interview withe characters and figuring out what they want and why before we dig into a world I've already created in a previous book in the series.
Some times, when I'm really trying to keep two books straight like this, I'll select a scent of candle that I only burn while I'm working on that book. I'll also make a sound track for that book that I'll play while writing it. Whatever works is what you do when it comes to starting...and finishing a book.
So here I go again...into the story.