When I start a story, I always begin by putting my thoughts on paper. I find it to be more beneficial than to sit in front of a computer and start typing. I prefer doing it this way because 1) I’m getting my thoughts down before I forget (I hate to say it, but I get sidetracked a lot). 2) I’m able to set up a starting point and structure where I want my story to go. And, 3) I have a written plan that I can refer to which allows me to put out more work in the time I’ve allotted.
I do have one rule that I created for myself that has worked quite well, and that is never to stop writing mid chapter. When I’m on a roll words come effortlessly, so I always like to continue until I finish a section before I stop. From experience, I found it tedious to come back and try to recreate the flow that I had prior.
Everyone is different, so whatever works for you is what you should stick with to get the best quality use of your time. Do you have a system that you follow? If so, I would love to hear what you do.