Begin at the beginning.
Select an idea, any old idea, and riff on it.
Let the idea sit there and marinate for a while; let it solidify into something worth writing about.
Outline, outline, outline!
Let it bleed out of you; don’t stop to fix it, revise it later.
I’ve heard all kinds of suggestions on how and where to begin a new project, and in the back of my mind I’ve been thinking about how and where I’ll be starting up the next Mendaihu Universe story. I’m still working Walk in Silence as my main project right now. I’m also creating a story out of my daily words (currently called The Lidwells Story), so it’s not as if I’m hemming and hawing and not getting any work done. The new MU story isn’t exactly top priority at the moment, but it’s in the back of my mind, poking me like a five year old every now and again, begging for a scrap of attention.
The trouble is that I’m really not sure where to start with it. I have a few very vague ideas of characters and plot points, but nothing solid. It’s not severe trouble, though…I have to remember that The Phoenix Effect started out almost completely from scratch as well, and I had maybe five or six scenes tops in my head. I have to remember that I had two plans when I began it: 1) write a new novel, and 2) use the idea of human spirits coming from somewhere else. That’s it. Nearly all of the scenes, plots and subplots, and character evolution I wrote in that book I came up with while writing it.
So really–the trouble is not where to start the story, but where (and when) to begin writing it. That is: prioritize projects. Don’t worry about the new MU story just yet–don’t worry about the plot or the characters, or even the theme at this point. Finish WiS and the Blogging the Beatles projects, and continue submitting the Bridgetown trilogy.
It’ll come in time. I’ll know when I’m ready for it.