The time has come. I had some characters itching to tell their stories, and they wouldn't leave me alone. Only one problem. I didn't know where to begin. I needed a dynamic opening scene. Which isn't to say that scene won't be changed in the future, but for me as the author to feel ready, I needed a good opening.
Well, I came up with something. It was dynamic and thrust the main character into serious trouble right from the get go. I was ready to begin it. But then I started thinking about the novels I've read that didn't allow me time to connect with the characters before they threw them into a tailspin. Those novels were easy to put down.
This made me re-think. In order to care about a character, you need to get to know him/her if you're going to read about their predicaments. Which isn't to say you begin a novel with a slow scene, but I realized I was thinking about starting this novel too far into the story. I needed to back up, just a little bit, and create some empathy for my character.
I envisioned another scene which took place before the scene I'd originally planned. It too had some action, but I hope it allows the reader time to care about the main character.
I'm going to do something I don't normally do---share with you the rough draft opening paragraph of this novel. Keep in mind that it will probably change, and most certainly be tightened, but here it is:
The car door slamming startled Brynn Taylor awake. She crawled on her elbows up to the zippered door of her two-man tent, swallowing hard against a wave of nausea. She unzipped the flap and peeked out. Parked at the edge of her camp was a white police car, and walking toward her tent was the cop.