A story begins with a moment, slightly out of the ordinary, one you might not notice until a narrator points it out to you. The moment may be locked in a pounding succession of other moments, each flashing past with steam engine power; or it might be a moment of stillness: the hover of a wing, transcendentally frozen, hesitating over a fat red worm.
It could be a moment when eyes lock across a room – strangers’ eyes or family eyes, or the eyes of two garden gnomes, silently saluting. It could be the moment when a bullet ejects from the muzzle of a handgun and etches a trajectory across the air, into a brain. It could be a moment of insight, when Jack looks at Jill and understands gravity; or it could be one of those inconsequential moments, when steam rises from a cup of tea and whirlpools in front of your eyes.
A story always begins with a moment: Now, or Then, or Once.