An author’s first problem is where to begin the story. An author’s last problem is to find out if the story begins in the right place.
For Crossroads, I expected the story to begin and end with Derek and Nate standing under a street light and making the decisions that would start or complete the action.
By the second draft, I knew that would be as if the brothers dropped from outer space; where did they come from? Why here? Is this a chance meeting, or is there something behind it? Why weren’t they together in the first place?
So I backed up. First I backed up too far and added stuff that didn’t matter either to Derek and Nate or to you, the reader. Delete key.
But before Derek reaches that lighted spot, I must show you where he comes from and why he’s coming now.
Then Derek and Nate can get together.