What advice do you have for story openings?
|That's not a knife. It's a machete, but you get the point.|
2. Use strong verbs and nouns. "Was" and other weak verbs are common for story openings but are typically so much weaker than more powerful words. (This doesn't mean "fancy" words, just "powerful" words -- there is a difference.)
3. Use (as much as is possible) simple subject-verb construction. "The knife stabbed Bill's knee and sliced clean through the bone where his old football injury still hurt" is a lot more effective that "Where the knife had stabbed Bill's old wound became a new area of pain for the former all-star quarterback." Someone (or something) does something. Not an abstract concept that then linking verbs to some adjective- and adverb-laden concept. (Unless you're Henry James or James Joyce, of course.)
4. Listen to the sounds in your sentence. Hard sounds stop readers like a punch. Soft sounds flow like a dance. Choose which you need based on the action of your opening.