Why is writing every book different?

Four years ago I was preparing an entry for the 2007 Golden Heart. I'd started the thing in October to get it ready for the deadline in the beginning of December. The book ended up being about 46k when I sent it off. It was one of two. It did really well in chapter contests, but got hammered in the GH. That story is at Harlequin at the moment after going through many changes and getting some editorial feedback through contests. I expect it will sit there for at least another 6 months before I will hear anything.

The reason I bring up this book is because of how fast I wrote it. The characters came alive beneath my keystrokes. I could visualize scenes and knew how to show what issues characters were struggling with. Of course, it then spent 2 years being edited because it was my second book and I had no idea what I was doing. But what remains is most of what I wrote in those early days.

Last night I had a scene in my head. The last two books I started I had no idea how to begin. I had the main conflict, but couldn't figure out how to get them there. I couldn't find a cute scene to start them off or a dramatic one. Then along comes last night and half a chapter just magically appeared. No work. No gnashing of teeth. Just fully formed from my little brain. I love it when writing happens like that.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled WIP.

How about you? Do you start fast and furious or do beginnings bog you down?