Step Four: Where does the Story Start…Really?
So, you’ve plotted your story from start to finish, and no doubt included some of the back- story for characters and the plot. Good start. Now it’s time to work out the organisation of your story, and where you will start from. Yes, that’s right, writer! Try to actually focus your story to the section you wish to start from. ‘But hold up, Kim. I just plotted the whole story, now you’re telling me I won’t include it all?’ I hear you say. The short answer is yes, the long answer is yes and no. Let me break it down. With short stories we need to first focus the storytelling style, characters, and plot as we did in steps one, two, and three. Then yep, narrow it down again to where you will start from. I recommend this as no doubt you have some backstory. Here in step four we decide what to do with it, how to tell it, and most importantly where to start with a bang! Literally. The key is to think about how much of the story has already happened, and what you wish to show of that (backstory) vs where to jump in right away.
Note: I will break this down into two methods. First, for short stories and flash fiction and second, for works that are slightly longer such as novellas or novelettes. For the purposes of this book, short stories are from 1-12,000 words, with novellas, and novelettes from 12,001-40,000 words.