When it comes to writing, I come up with an idea, play around with it for a few days and usually dive right into whatever scene is fresh in my mind. Once I get that our of my system, I sit back and make a rough outline. Then I make a list of things or scenes I want to include, rework the outline, think of more stuff, rework the outline again and finally start writing.
Why? I like being organized. I like having a clear plot to follow and I like being able to make little connections throughout a series. If I know how book number ten will end, then book number one can contain a crap load of hints and foreshadowing you won't pick up on until the end and then (hopefully) you'll be like 'ohhh, so that's why that happened' or something of the sort.
I wrote three very detailed outlines for the Contagium Trilogy. I wrote the last paragraph in Contagious before I started the novel and I have the last chapter of the final book finished. I try to stick to the outlines because it helps me write quickly. If I know exactly what is suppose to happen, I can type like a ninja. However, I tend to go off from the outline or add more detail than I thought. I tend to find places to add more character development which can literally add chapters that I hadn't planned on writing.
That is my current state with DC. It is a lot longer than I expected. I planned on having Contagious and Deathly Contagious be roughly the same length. DC is already 2,000 words over and not finished. If I stick to my outline, then I have about 2-3 more chapters to go. But, I added another zombie close call scene that takes an emotional toll on some of the MC's, which is gonna add another chapter. So now I have 3-4 chapters to go.
I'm really hoping and trying to get this done by the end of the month or sooner. I do want to take more time with the edits this time and I do have someone else looking through it. I'm very eager to get the book out there but I know you guys like a polished product. So, editing might hold back the release date. I don't really know yet. I've been dreaming about zombies attacking a lot lately :) I think I'm starting to channel Orissa!