You've got an idea for a story, but where the heck do you start?
It's tempting to do a prologue, an entire set-up before you jump into the story - right? You want your reader to know who your main character is, what he/she looks like, how happy/sad/nervous/scared they are... what kind of surroundings they are in. But... and this is a BIG BUT!!! DO NOT start your story that way!
If you must do a set-up -- do it for yourself. That can be your pre-story before you jump into the REAL story! And, actually it's not a bad idea to write down all kinds of character analysis on all of your characters. Detail your setting - I even draw maps and sketch out rooms, etc. Tell yourself what your characters look like. But again - DO NOT - put those into the beginning of your story. Weave those kinds of details into your first few chapters. It's not urgent (usually) that we know your MC is a blond. However, when she pulls a brown wig on to disguise herself - THEN is when we need to know that. Yes - a scene like that could be the first scene - but chances are, it won't be!
Your beginning needs to have enough mood to draw in the reader - enough voice of your MC for readers to start caring about them - and enough plot set-up that the pages are begging to be turned.
Hard? Yes. Necessary? Yes. Achievable? Most definitely, YES!
For those of you doing NaNo - remember - this month is about getting the story down. Don't concern yourself with the dreaded beginnings - just jump in and write. However, come December - your real work will begin!
Any books you can think of that immediately draw you in?