First impressions matter.
Young readers are very exacting. They aren't going to slog through a book. Young readers need to be engaged right away.
Not only are young readers exacting, so are editors and agents.
Treat your opening lines very carefully.
What makes a good opening line?
- action (momentum)
- mystery (questions)
Front-loading the opening of the story is a common mistake. Start with the character. There are many more pages for readers to get the rest. Start with a characteristic moment.
Characteristic moment should...
- introduce key details
- create instant empathy and/or interest
- create a memorable scene
- introduce the strength and the flaw
- kick-start the plot
A first line that has stood the test of time:
"It is a truth universally acknowledge, that a single man in possession of a good future, must be in want of a wife." -Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Some other great beginnings: