This post was inspired by a question from Mary de Bastos from The Sweet Bookshelf ;-)
She's a hilarious woman filled with awesomeness.
I'll tell ya what works for me in writing.
Might work for you.
I know. I didn't really sell this post all that well, huh?
Do you know the simple, SIMPLE thing that made me not afraid to try and write a book?
The idea that I didn't ahve to write in order. It made the whole task seem possible.
That I could think of a scene that was filled with some kind of feeling, and branch outward from there.
Maybe that IS where my story starts.
Maybe my starting place is WAY later.
Maybe this is JUST after my story's opening.
Sometimes, I write the END, FIRST. I did that in The Next Door Boys, and I often stop at about 20K and write the ending. It usually changes, but I've given myself something to work toward.
My best advice to people just getting started in writing is to not worry and just get the story down. Don't worry about where you start, or where you finish. If your commas are perfect, or if you're using "Just" too much.
You might end up with a mess, but it'll be YOUR mess, and you'll have gotten the story down.
And then I'm going to tell you something really depressing - first books don't often get published first.
Just LOVE the process. Write all the scenes that make you fall in love with your characters, and don't worry about anything else.
The first scene I wrote in the Next Door Boys was the ending, which completely changed. The next few scenes I wrote were one of the two chapters that was cut off the front.
The first scene I wrote in Left to Love was a wedding that never made it into the second book, but it was so crucial for me to get into the mindset of my people that it was DEFINITELY not a waste.
In Insight, the first scene I wrote is when Micah tells someone (FINALLY) about what she can do (1/4 of the way in, maybe 1/3).
In Spill Over, the first scene I wrote was the first kiss - it happens fairly late in the book.
Night Sky I actually wrote the beginning FIRST - wow. But the next scene I wrote was one way later, and involved a HUGE admission from Sky...
This does not work for everyone, but if you're just getting started on a story, and aren't sure where to go, just write ANYTHING. The story will come...
So... Where are you in your current WIP???