I always start a new project by brainstorming in my journal. If it’s a new series, I’ll start with my characters. What do they want? What do they need? What’s standing in their way? After that, I will usually have a rough idea of the big turning points in the book. However, Act I always gives me issues, so my next step is figuring out where the beginning of the story is. When I think I nailed down when the book starts, I’ll draft the first chapter to see how it lands. If it works? Great! I’ll keep it and continue drafting. If not… back to the drawing board.