Beginnings are on my mind thanks to my blogging friends Windy Aphayrath and Chantele Sedgwick. These lovely ladies both posted earlier this week about the subject. They have excellent things to say about beginnings. Windy's posts are here: In the Beginning and It's a Start. Chantele's post is here: Beginnings.
For me, beginnings are what come first. Well, really, I have to have an idea of beginning before I can start writing. I'm a chronological writer. Sometimes as I'm world-building I'll get an idea for a scene that occurs later in the book or series. I'll write it down with a note at the top about where it falls in the timeline but then continue on with my chronological planning and writing.
There are a lot of different ways to begin a story. In school I had it drummed into my head to start "in medias res" but I haven't always adhered to this. Starting in the middle of things is a great idea.
But you know what? A book needs to start at the point where you can build enough knowledge to throw a monkey wrench in normal.
Sometimes this means you are fine to start off with action, start off with that moment which upsets your character's status quo.
Other times you have to show a few months of normal life in order for that upset moment to make absolute sense and pull emotions the way you need them to be.
Do you start with the beginning or do you write from the moment where you're inspired forward then go back and add in the start?