A related question is where in time to begin. Should you begin far back in a character's past and move forward, or should you begin in the present and make use of flashbacks only where necessary? ... If the material with which you want to open the story is from the character's deep past, then there has to be an important relationship between what has happened in the past and what is about to happen. In other words, is the material with which you open the story an arrow pointing toward the unified effect?