It has become vogue in this day and age that before telling certain types of story you should first tell the origin story of each character who takes place in the narrative.
Starting in this way it becomes possible, perhaps, or easier—at least—to comprehend how a character “came to be a way”.
With this intention in mind, the characters begin somehow deconstructed into unformed lumps of clay or plasticine; lumpish babes in swaddling cloth.
And from these humble origins the characters become either great heroes, or villains, or sometimes neither, or sometimes both and rise up against adversity or break against it like a boat against rocks.
The story, in a way, becomes not a story about a thing but a story about a character. And we, the readers, are granted some insight into how that character was formed… how they became.
This is certainly a valid and sometimes necessary way to tell a story.
And yet… I wonder, what if we were to do away with that mode and instead chose to begin our story somewhere else. Perhaps right in its very centre, perhaps right at the critical moment at which their decisions begin to become relevant.
At such a moment of crisis—at that point of that critical mass—might we learn what we need to know about a character in a matter of moments, or seconds, or sentences?
This too would be an origin story, perhaps, but of a different nature than those which came before. No longer need we know from where exactly our characters came, or how they came to be; we are merely with them.
And in being with them, might we not come to a more immediate understanding of who that character is, not from the beginning, but a beginning.
The answer is of course we might start a story this way.