Add Jayne Ann Krentz to my list with Lauren Hutton for People I Admire. (Don't forget AlisonKent.com or Michele Albert at Inkalicious.com)
Few writers conduct their long term careers as well as JAK. She's just posted the best basic how-to write and finish and polish a book technique ever at runningwithquills.com
Basically, write full speed ahead, a la Book In A Week style, finish the rough draft, which you'll probably edit along the way, then return 4 or more times to edit.
In her post, JAK expresses getting to know her characters and settling in with them. I'm doing that now at over half way into a new one. The situations, the scenes, the characters all change as the work develops. In no way would my characters be set-in-stone from the get-go. They evolve and so does the story from that first inception, gem of an idea.
I hope you visit runningwithquills.com and read JAK's post. With a new book out April 24th, and I'm buying that one in the Arcane series, she'll be promoting, too. Love that Arcane series, esp. the contemporaries.