If you never complete a first draft then you never know your story. You must write to the end.
Write without full knowledge of what you are about to write. Let the subconscious sum up the premises and intentions you have slept on and thought about over many days.
Write without judgement and do not edit until the last word of the first draft is written. Only then do you rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.
A good story happens when you get your character down that blasted rabbit hole. The plot is just a vehicle for the characters. When they are dealing with problems, they have to reveal themselves for who they are. Just keep them moving and let them bounce off each other.
Start now. Don't worry about the past. Flashbacks should set off alarm bells that there is something not quite right with your story. Instead, think of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’. By the end of page one Alice is down the rabbit hole.
The word 'pretend' has a bad press. We worry about doctors who aren’t doctors, builders who can’t build, teachers who aren’t qualified to teach. But the word ‘pretend’ comes from the Latin “praetendo” meaning to stretch forth, reach out, extend. Pretending allows us to believe we can do something new and different.
Pretending allows us to stretch ourselves beyond our reality into our imagination. If we didn't pretend, would we dare to go after our dreams?
Your memories contain the sights, sounds, feelings, tastes and smells of your original experience. To step back in time, focus on just one sense.
Which sense to begin with? Ask yourself ‘What do I remember first?’ Is it an image, sound, smell or texture? Describe this first moment in detail to begin your journey into the past.