Where to start?

People often ask me if I have tips on how to start with a story. I used to ask myself that very same question, because how, indeed, does one start to a new story? But the longer I thought about it, the more I began to realise that the start of a story never begins with a question. At least not for me. My stories tend to 'happen', and perhaps this needs some explanation.

Ever since I was a kid, I've had the kind of brain that processed info in the form of images. Everything -literally everything- was a picture to me. My mind would turn words into images, I would remember schoolwork by images, and yes: I would read books in the form of images. Not because I couldn't read, but simply because it's just how my brain functions. It took me years to figure out what to do with this -if there was anything I could do with this, in the first place. The answer is: 'Yes! There is so much you can do with a brain that works with pictures.
First of all, I learned that I was able to remember a great deal more than my classmates because, let's be honest, a picture is easier to remember than words or numbers. Second, once you get older, and you begin to understand how this ability to 'see' things influences the way you view the world, you'll find that life is basically just one big movie, playing in front of you. And what do movies have in common with books? Correct: they have have stories to tell.

So, besides being able to look at the world as though I am watching a movie, thinking in images has also enabled me to write stories. How? Simply by looking at the things I see around me. For example: when in some random field I see a sheep in the company of a goose, I see a story of an old lady in the company of a traveler (well... I am a fantasy author, after all). When I see a car from the front, I always wonder if that car is happy or angry, judging its mood by the way the headlights are designed (I think designers do this on purpose!).
You have to admit that when things are so easy to see, it also become a lot easier to see a story behind it. If that car is angry, what has made it angry? If that goose is talking to the sheep, what are they saying? Stories are everywhere... really, everywhere. Does that mean I write about everything? Absolutely not! The key here is to filter. Filter out the funny story you want to write. Filter out the emotions you want to focus on, the tiny details that make a trope or cliché come to life. And then...write. Because to the question I started this blog with, there is only one answer... Start. To. Write. Everything else will come to you, when it's ready.