This is an article from the 2013 April magazine “The Writer”. The online link is here:
How do I begin a story that needs a lot of explanation? For example, when it takes place in another time or if the character has an extraordinary skill?
This seems like such a simple technique, and yet, when faced with your own first chapter, you frequently feel stumped as to whether to begin at the end, or with lots of background, or with immediate action. This Q & A seems to clarify two distinct different ways to get that first line onto the paper.
I have to admit that the idea of writing a book from the middle and going back and writing the beginning has tempted me. Often we have the action and plot going but get bogged down in the details of how to get a character to a certain place at a certain time etc. If we just start writing – middle, end or beginning – does it really matter?
Maybe starting with a short story will help sort the dilemma. But really, just writing is the key!