I got a really good start on plotting the new book yesterday and may even try writing words today. I have the opening planned and know the main story goal. I have a good sense of what the ending will be and what the midpoint should be. Since starting with that much and then winging it from there worked so well in the last book I wrote, I'm tempted to try it again, doing my plotting a little at a time.
I am a little ashamed at how long it took me to remember that I needed to figure out what the goal was. I was trying to plot and coming up with events, then realized that I didn't know what the main character wanted to accomplish and what the main story question was. That was my struggle in writing the previous book in this series. I was midway through when I realized that's what I was missing. I didn't have a good throughline because of that, and it took a lot of rewriting to fix it. It should help that I know it now.
I think I'm going to keep the newspaper articles at the beginning as a way to recap the previous books. It's a device that fits with the story, and it's a good way to remind readers what happened before without having to insert too much of that into the narrative. I'm reading a book now that's a sequel to something I read last year, and I'm having a hard time keeping up with it because I didn't remember all the details of events. The author did eventually weave enough information in to remind me, but it would have been nice to have more of a refresher up front.
Now I just need to get my brain back in order enough to string words together.