There are as many ways to begin your novel as there are ways to procrastinate. Beginning your novel is easier than you think. All you have to do is sit down, get out a sheet of paper, and give yourself permission to write poorly.
Beginning your novel is not an intellectual exercise. Contrary to what you might think, there is nothing to figure out. In fact, beginning your novel is about discovery; you can’t know the story ahead of time.
To outline is to begin your novel.
To write a character sketch is to begin your novel.
To imagine two characters in relationship to each other is to begin your novel.
You are much closer than you think to the beginning of your novel.