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Rachel Saylor

Starting in a scene or a moment can be one of the easiest ways to begin your story. First, feel your surroundings, whether it's sunrise or dusk, crisp and cold or muggy and hot. Picture where your scene takes place. Maybe you find it in a dark alleyway, in the depths of the woods or in a living room. Once you are there, start to feel the emotions of your character. Are they frightened, happy or apathetic? What thoughts are going on in your character's mind? What is your character doing or not doing? Are there other side characters that are in the scene or preparing to come into the scene? What objects and sounds are in your scene that should be included to fully include the reader in the moment?

Let this scene and moment happen organically. I know this sounds strange, but I find if I let the scene unfold and lead itself, then I get to experience it almost like a new reader would. The only difference is that I am experiencing it firsthand and recording it for my readers. I am taken on an emotional ride as I am guided through a scene and often cry or feel my heart rate go up as I write the moments captured in my mind. I feel like I am in the midst of the scene as it is unfolding. My job is to depict the story well enough for my readers to be taken to the same place and feel the same emotions as I did, as if they were there with me, spectating all along.

You may wonder, "How will this work starting at a random spot in my story without any character building or plot planning?" I am here to tell you that this is how every story has come to life for me. This process seems to work pretty well with creating an intriguing and emotion-filled moment. From there, the story begins to unfold itself to me and I try to keep up with my fingers, pounding on the keyboard.

I will admit, at this point, I have only attempted this a few times and I have not yet completed a full fictional story. However, I am trying to write down my process and let you all join the journey, as well as try it out for yourselves. Let me know how you begin writing your stories and what your process is to get started. I love hearing and learning from you!