A friend asked me the other day where to start writing. My (slightly facetious) instant answer was:
Start at the beginning.
After all, it’s a very good place to start.
But as I considered the question a little more, I came up with what seems like an even more facetious answer…but it really isn’t.
Start jotting ideas down.
Start writing a story.
Start writing a journal or diary.
Start at the end.
Start in the middle.
Start with a great bit of dialogue and build a story round it.
Start with an outline.
Start with a very vague idea and see where the idea takes you.
But (I hear you ask), isn’t there a ‘right’ (and therefore a ‘wrong’) place to begin?
But here’s the kicker…Right is in the eye of the beholder!
For some writers, a robust storyline with bullet-points works wonders.
For some writers, the story tells itself as they write, so the above would be, at best, a waste of time…and at worst, a complete distraction stopping them from writing the story that wants to be told.
Some writers begin with how the story ends.
Some begin with “once upon a time”.
Some have the plot worked out and fill in the details.
Some write the middle first, then the beginning.
Some let inspiration lead and write when they feel called to write.
Some sit down and churn out 1000 words a day.
Some are horrified by the very idea of ALL of the above!
The only way to know for yourself is to start…anywhere, and experiment with what works for you.
How do you decide what to experiment with?
Do any of the above appeal to you?
Try that. See what happens. Modify it to suit you (like the way I do morning pages at night, because that’s what works for me).
That way, you’ll find your way.
Just as most every author interview I’ve ever heard or read has found their own way.
Writing in the dark (on a computer).
Writing at 4am.
Writing in a coffee shop.
Writing in the shed.
Writing morning pages (3 pages longhand of whatever pops into your head, every day).
Writing a short story.
Writing an epic tale of derring-do.
Writing a genre you love.
Writing a genre you mock.
Writing based on idea-prompts (auntie google has lots of these).
Writing your life story.
Writing shit. (and letting yourself keep writing and getting better)
Writing anything, anyway…and starting anywhere.
It’s your story, you get to write it however you like.
“Where do I start?” is a red-herring, a distraction, an easy excuse to procrastinate. Because where and how the hell do you start?
Sit your ass down, put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and write.