Many people with great story ideas tell me they don't know how to begin their story. I know what they are saying because staring at a blank screen or paper is hard.
If you're having trouble getting started, choose someone to tell your story to and then talk to them on paper; tell them your story. You can pretend you are telling your tale to your best friend or giving information to your boss. Who you choose to tell your story to will be dependent upon the idea or the story you are trying to tell. For examples, it can be your best friend if it is an adventure tale, your nephew for a children's book, or your boss for a how-to book.
If you love cozy mysteries, like I do, then you can tell your story to yourself and write the story you would want to read. You can pick anyone to "talk" to; however, you should choose someone in your target audience because this will impact on how and what you write. I can guarantee the book about which brand of gasoline is better than another will be very different if you are writing the information for the CEOs of major oil companies vs. drivers who purchase gasoline. Knowing your audience is crucial to your writing and perhaps best explored in a separate blog post. For now, just remember that getting started is as easy as telling a friend a story.
So what are you waiting for?
-Celeste Bennett, author of the Yarn Genie Mysteries