Using the experience of my own house history research, the outline of the book came together pretty nicely for me. My book is essentially broken down into three sections: preparing to do the research, actually doing the research, and finally compiling all the research. What involved the most amount of time for me was identifying all the different resources available in St. Louis County, which is the heart of section 2. As a follow up, I contacted all the different libraries and research centers referenced in my book and asked them to review section 2 of the book. I wanted to make sure that if I said the library had a certain book or microfilm that they indeed had it. The added value of them looking at section 2 was that I got quite a bit of additional input into what I consider to be the gut of the book.
As I look back now, I realize that from the time I began writing the book in early 2008 to the first draft being completed and ready to be sent to the editor in April of 2009, a period of sixteen months had elapsed. Wow! Obviously I did not work on the book 24/7. My husband and I own a couple of small businesses and we also have two children, so like most people I don't have a great deal of spare time. But by setting aside a small amount of time each evening to write, it did get done. Persistence will pay off.
Next up...what happened after the book went to the editor.