Rules are made to be broken, but you better know them first.
The plot: All good stories start with a conflict. Meyer didn’t start the twilight saga with Bella strolling to school, she started with her about to die ravaged by a thirsty vampire. Flashback, how did we get there? You don’t need to start with a prolepsis (a flashforward” type of moment) but you need to engage the reader within the first page. This is very hard. I always rewrite the first chapter last. Don’t worry about that now. Remember post 2? Just write.
The outline: For the beginning just jut down your story. Outlines might help or not. I do write outlines, but then rarely follow them, he he. I write them to clarify in my mind what’s the arch of the story: the conflict, the development, and the resolution.
The first draft: In my opinion every good book has more than one story, but focus on the main plot at first to get your first draft. First drafts are awful, daunting nightmares. I always feel like I have all these people screaming in my head to come out at once and just like when noise is too loud they might add up to silence and a white page staring at you. You know better. Look at post 2, just write. Even if it sucks. Even if it doesn’t make sense. Just get it all out. Writing a first draft to me feels like shitting a brick: painful, frustrating and the result is the ugly smelly thing you’re ashamed of. Fret not, as a writer you’re a sculptor of words, now that you have your raw material you’re gonna turn it into the David by Michelangelo and it’s going to be FUN.
Writing programs: some people write by hand or use typewriters. I love paper, but I write and rewrite my drafts so many times that computers are a life saver. Hands down, get Scrivener. It’s cheap compared to other programs ($ 35-50 depending if you find a good coupon online) and it is amazing. It will allow you to swap chapters around, add research material, play with outlines and most importantly to export your work in ANY FORMAT, from a manuscript to an e-book ready for Kindle publication. Get it, just do it. (I have no money in Scrivener, I swear!)