This week in writing workshop, you did a lot of thinking and dreaming about your story. Hopefully, you now have a fledgling idea for character and a story, or maybe you feel sure of what you want to write about. Whatever your state of mind, you still have the same problem. How do you begin? Where do you begin? If your story is a vast, unexplored country below you, you need to decide where to jump out of the plane with your parachute. Let’s talk about Little Red Riding Hood. You all know that story, right? Red takes a basket of food to her granny’s house, and finds a wolf has sitting in her granny’ bed, wearing her nightgown. Instant story, right? But what about all the other times Red made that visit without a hitch? What about the months, the years, where she walked to her Granny’s, gave her a nice box of Mallomars, chatted about the Yankees, then walked back home? As the reader, we can infer how Red’s visits went “normally,” but the story begins on the day something unusual happens, the moment when “everyday,” changes to “one day.” So that’s where I want your story to begin, too. Think about what your protagonist’s everyday life is like, what he or she struggles with, what he or she wants, what’s stopping him or her from getting it. Then write, “One day……” What happens that’s out of the ordinary? What spins this normal life into a whole new orbit? Begin writing there.