Answer these six magic questions to write a winning story. It's a different way of planning and I think more effective than your typical beginning, middle and end.
Who is your protagonist? (The protagonist is your main character.)
What do they want? (Make it life-altering.)
Why do they want it? (Make it a huge justification.)
What is their inner obstacle? (What inside is preventing them from achieving their goal? Make it tough.)
What are their outer obstacles? (Think of anything that may prevent them, and make them insurmountable - events, antagonists, etc.)
Who do they love? (We do anything for love, we climb mountains, build cities, murder, go to war. Make it count.)
Here are my answers:
Who is your protagonist?
What do they want?
To become a zookeeper.
Why do they want it?
When Dorothea was young, she witness a Lion being hunted. This made her want to protect animals.
What is their inner obstacle?
Dorothea is afraid of failing.
What are their outer obstacles?
Dorothea's Dad wants her to become a lawyer.
Her sister, Penny, is madly jealous of her.
Who do they love?
Dorothea loves her pet parrot, Clive. She loves her mother, who is deceased. She loves fairness, and the right to be yourself.
After you've done this, you can start to shape your story!
Far easier than starting a story with a blank page, and possibly a mind as blank as a wiped whiteboard!