Start as close to the end as possible.
In some stories I see this, and this makes it feel as if the story is just one big climax. Good Omens is like that. The Running Man felt like that. The Uglies trilogy feels like that. Some don't exactly feel like that, but the majority of the book is rising action to a single point, rather than peaks and valleys. Personally, these are not my favorite books, or at least its not my favorite way of story-telling. I think a story is better if it's not always on a continuous uphill battle, because you know where you're going the entire time. It's more interesting if you have mini-climaxes.
Plus, what they mean by 'the end' is vague. The end of the story you're writing? Or the end of the story for the characters? Or the end of the story for the world? This seems to imply that the beginning needs to be condensed, abbreviated, for the sake of keeping the climactic ending within reach. I don't much care for this piece of advice.
Labels: writing advice