When I was younger, I had a bad habit of just writing up something that was in my head and claiming it was part of something bigger, but it never was. I had more or less skipped through the nonsense of traditional beginnings and just cut to the chase where my head was. It took me years to figure out that I didn’t need to try and build up to that point just to write what I wanted.
That was a big lesson for me: start where you feel like you should start.
If it’s a sex scene that enters when each partner has their hands all over naked bodies of the other, do it. If it’s an action scene that starts when an explosion happens, don’t hesitate. Or if it’s something like a garden scene that begins when the character is contemplating something, about to enter a maze or the walkway that leads to the house, show it happening. Do what feels right, is the best advice for this.
Though, with that comes that you should be mindful of how much context you give the reader. This is where the story starts for them, but where did it start for the characters, and what brought them to that place? Be vague, or be detailed, but try to remove confusion. Remember that the reader doesn’t know as much about this as you do, and try to think that the reader in question is someone who hasn’t picked up any of your work before, especially if that story belongs to a series.
There are exceptions to that, of course, with novels and the like, individual chapters, but that’s what pulls people in; when they flip to a random page and start reading. Who is Jack? What’s this panther he’s talking about? Or Anna, why is she so stubborn, is there an explanation?
Whatever it is, don’t let buildup intimidate you. Write where you feel comfortable, and write whatever’s in that chaotically creative brain of yours, no matter how small or how large (hehehe…).
-The Novice Wordsmith