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where to start your story

If you were to tell the “story” of this picture, you could start wherever you wanted to, just like in your writing.  Norman Rockwell [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever tried to start writing at the beginning of your story but ended up staring at your screen with no idea of how to start? Me too.

I end up feeling like I need the perfect line to begin, but there’s no need to start at the beginning. If you don’t know how your story starts yet, don’t worry about it. You’ll get there.

If you don’t start at the beginning, where can you start? Anywhere!

  • Write the climax scene that you already have pictured in your head.
  • Write the first time your protagonist and antagonist meet.
  • Write a scene where your character must face their worst fear.
  • Write whatever strikes you. When inspiration hits, write that part.

Your creative muse is a funny thing. We have no idea when inspiration will strike or what it will inspire, but if you’ve planned a bit, when it does strike, you can have a fairly good idea as to where the piece you write will fit into the larger story. It’s not an exact science. Creative endeavors never are, so just go with it. Work on your novel or story organically and don’t feel you can only write whatever is going to happen next.

When you get enough scenes, put them in order and then begin filling in. Though I definitely call myself an outliner, writing from the middle out instead of from the beginning to end works for me.

Where do you start? What strategies do you use to get going? Share in the comments below.