Someone asked me if, when starting a new book, I make a detailed outline and work from that.
Well, the answer is yes, no, um maybe...
I usually start with a basic idea of the story. I don't just sit down and say to myself, time to begin my next book, then stare at the blank screen waiting for inspiration to hit. The idea will have percolated for some time, and I think of scenes I could add, or that would be necessary. When I reach the point where I had better write things down before I start forgetting, I get that outline started. At this point I know my character's names, approximate ages, their backgrounds, what they look like.
I start a spreadsheet with the dates the main characters were born, and check to see if anything happened just before or after these dates, in case such events impact their story lives.
Then I put down the year and month the main story starts. and a short phrase about the scene. I may then write that first scene, knowing that it's tentative at best, for I may find a better place to start, usually a few chapters down the line.
From that beginning I can proceed to the next important scenes, dates first, then a descriptive phrase, and after a few of these, I begin writing.