Edits are going well for TABLE for FOUR. When I first sit down to write, the words come tumbling out and I just type. My own sense of good grammar doesn't let me ignore blatant mistakes, but often I will stop the flow of writing to struggle with a sentence that won't let go of my mind. It's as if I CAN'T move on until that sentence is at least closer to what I want to say.
That first time through, getting to know the characters is crucial. I don't work with outlines; mostly because I have too much fun finding out where the characters are going to go. If I already know the end of the book, why would I want to write it? And no, I don't peek at the last page when I'm reading someone else's book, either! All the surprise is gone!
The character's name is the key to knowing the character. I've often struggled with writing a person and simply referring to her as "her/she" or him as "him/he" until the character is gracious enough to tell me his/her name. That's what happened with Adora in TABLE FOR FOUR. David and Lissa's story was humming along quite nicely until Richard and ...the blonde...walked in. I knew what she looked like, I knew what she did...but I spent two days hung up in the middle of that scene because I didn't know her name.
Where do I get my names? All over. I try to pick real names for the most part; the online sites for baby names are great. I also have two books of names at home. Leafing through them gives me ideas. For Adora, I actually had the meaning of the name first and wanted a name to match. When you read the book (it comes out this June), you'll see how her name fits her so well.