I’ve seen this listed many times as one of the top ten rules for how not to start a story. And I can understand the reason why. Readers don’t know who the characters are, so why will they care enough to read on with a bit of random dialogue thrown at them in the first sentence.
(I’ve also been warned about starting sentences with ‘And’. All in all, I’m not very good at following the rules.)
So my second novel, Arc Over Time, starts this way:
“She calls, you go running.” Jasmine looked at her friend in disgust. “Aren’t you fed up being second best?”
Now, I suppose the purists could construe this as a disastrous beginning. But I like to leap straight into a scene and as this book is a sequel, my thought is that most readers will have read the first one, Starting Over. They will, therefore, have an inkling who Jasmine is and the relationship she’s referring to. The following paragraphs give more background information and, right or wrong, I felt that this opening was the best way to introduce the reader to the story.
Anyway, feel free to let me know what you think. Was this a good way to start, or not?
The first chapter is available to read on the Affinity website. (Arc Over Time will be released as an ebook on 15 May 2015.)