One of the hardest things when writing a story is to figure out where to start. Do you give some background? How much? Do you immediately jump into the problem or do you ease into it?
Those first words are crucial for every story. It is the hook that gets the reader to start reading. It is the gem that gets the editor to say yes.
With a novel you can take a bit of time with these things, but with a short story you have to dive into the heart pretty quickly. The shorter the word count, the faster you have to dive in.
So that is where I am struggling at right now with this Space Encounters story I am working on. I know the characters, I know the basic plot, however I don’t know where to start it. It should be easy right?
Well, it isn’t.
I don’t write much Science Fiction, in fact, I think this is the first short story I have written. I know at one time I fussed around with a SF story and had about 15,000 words or so on it, but put it away for a while. It was a long time ago. But that isn’t what is keeping me from writing this short.
With the novella, “Where There is Water,” I found that my starting point wasn’t where the story actually started. I had to go back, back into the history of that world and find a voice that carried the story. I’m afraid that I’m going to have several false starts with this one too before I find the “right” one.
But in the mean time, I’m just going to sit and start writing.