Sorry for such a late post today, I had some issues.
Have you ever heard of Jane Yolen? She wrote books including the Sister Light, Sister Dark series and Briar Rose. There's something I would like to point out about her that sets her apart from the "normal" writer.
Jane Yolen doesn't "plot" out, per se, her novels. She gets a vague idea of the beginning or middle or end or wherever, and writes from their, letting her story plot itself out.
I'm bringing this up because everything seems to be so set in stone. You plot the book, you write the book, you publish the book, blah, blah, blah and so on. This is not how the world works! This isn't how writing works! You need to find a pace that works for you, a style that fits you, some pattern that makes it so you can focus on writing. Don't plot your novel just because that's what Stephenie Meyers did or because that's what Rick Riordan did or James Patterson or some other author.
Now, I'm not saying plotting is bad, for some people it's a good way to get their ideas together. My point is that you should give something a try, you might find a different way works better. I know I sound pretty cliche right now, but it's the truth. I'm not just writing this because it'll look cool. Well, that's not the entire reason but I'm writing this because I want to help you writers out there develop your talents in your own way, not the most popular method.
Now that I have my point across, we can talk about some ways that you can try to broaden your horizons.
Go-With-It Style - The style Jane Yolen uses and the one I use. You get a vague scene and write the entire story off of it.
Plotting - This is the "normal" style, where you plot out the entire book beforehand.
With A Friend - Write a story with another person. This way you can piggy-back ideas and for some people it's something easier to grab onto.
Two Narrators - Switch off from two different narrators. Get two views of the story.
There are thousands of different ways to write, these are just four of them. My advice is to just try something new, you might find a strategy you would like to keep. The worst that can happen is that nothing could happen, that one might not work and you have to try a new one. Good luck and keep writing!
Is there any other strategies you can think of? Are there any ways that you've tried and really liked? One that you didn't like too much?