the real problem is in the 1st act.” Billy Wilder
Why did he say this and how can we use it? My take is you need to have some idea where you’re going. Not saying you need to outline, as that topic has been tackled by all of the best articles on this. What I am saying is you need at least a road map.
If you start your story without a guideline of some sort, then all you’re really doing is writing a long, painful outline that you’re calling a first draft. Trust me on this, I’ve done it.
A great book on this idea is “Story Engineering” by Larry Brooks.
So however you plan it out, an outline, a few sentences on a notepad, a spreadsheet or Scrivener…get something in front of you to show you where you’re headed, it will save you time, heartache and pain.
You don’t even need to stick with the plan, just put the car in drive, head down the road, and the rest … well, that’s why they call it writing.
Now go fire it up.