“Beginnings are hard.”
“I don’t know where to start.”
“I have to explain so much I’m afraid no one will be reading when I get to the real story.”
I’ve heard these words from other writers. I’ve said these words. I’ve had stories that were ready to leap onto the page—if I could have just gotten started.
So I began in the middle. My characters knew who they were, what they wanted to do, and jumped right into the action. I decided the beginning could be written later.
That’s the neat and clean version.
What actually happened was, I was riding the bus to the subway when dialogue went off in my head. I had a pen and the back of an envelope and began writing as fast as I could to capture it. These people were completely involved in their drama and it didn’t matter that I had no clue what went before.
And a funny thing happened. In the end, only a few paragraphs were needed to set up the story. If I had waited until I had a perfect beginning, it would have all been lost. Starting in the middle was the way to begin.
So, what about you? Are you letting the beginning stop you?