One of my most valuable teachers, the playwright Karen Hartman, says a good story begins with a brave person and a big problem. I think that's true, and I also think that a story happens because something is changing, and someone has to figure out how to deal with it. A story can't happen unless there's a change. I have a piece of paper with the phrase "WHY IS TODAY?" taped to my fridge. That's what it's about - why are you starting this story TODAY? What is different about TODAY? And if you go through your favorite stories, you'll be able to answer that question for every one. Today is different because Romeo crashed Juliet's party. Today is different because Peter Parker got a spider bite. Today is different because Sal finally got a car, and Dean Moriarty decided to drive. You have to find the catalyst to start a story. Something's changing - that's where you start.