I've got a great idea for a novel and I've been developing my characters and plotlines a little (okay, a lot) on paper... I guess that I'm getting a little overwhelmed with the planning and having some trouble diving in. I've read warnings against burdening ourselves with thinking too much about a "plot" before we put pen to paper, and I've always heard that a story should flow organically. But I guess I'm just not sure how one plucks a story out of thin air. I'm thinking that perhaps it's more a matter of having some ideas in mind, but not necessarily having anything hard and fast, allowing oneself to meander and be flexible with the course of the story. Still, it seems like it'd be tricky dive in with no prior idea of how the scene is going to go. Also, I'm really not sure where I should start my novel in a more concrete sense (as in, do I start at page 1, or jump around?) I've heard that you don't write a story from A to Z, but rather in bits and pieces as they come to you. Yet it still seems tricky for me to just jump into a scene if I haven't established what brought the characters into it in the first place. As a result, the scene just seems a little... sparse. Just wanted to see if these questions resonate with anybody out there. I appreciate your thoughts.