To be honest, I didn’t quite realize the significance of the first few lines of the story until I became serious about learning to write. To justify my point, let me ask you something. You have read hundreds of books. How many first lines do you remember? Probably none, might be an honest answer. However, if you think about it deeply, if you are in the business of writing
the start of the story assumes far greater significance. Amongst others, the agent, the editor and many others tend to judge the rest of the writing on the basis of the start. No one asks you ever to send you the middle four chapters! No one asks you to send them the last paragraph. But almost everybody asks to see the first few chapters – if not the first few pages.
In this context, I enjoyed Jane Friedman’s “ Biggest Bad Advice About Story Openings“. I liked the comments made by Sharon Cousins who gave some neat examples to illustrate what she meant by ” significant action”. I suppose the kind of start depends on the genre you write in. Yet, irrespective of that , I do realize that the start sets the tone for the rest of the book. It is what catches the reader’s attention.
That’s the reason we need to pay special attention to the opening. It should not be so weak, that the opening becomes the end of the reading!