The hardest part of writing a novel, or any piece of writing, may be the opening line. The first line must catch the editor's or the agent's attention. Once a book is published, it must compete with every other book in the store.
Who hasn't stood in front of a bookshelf, selected a book in a non-scientific manner (based on its title, jacket cover or even color), perused the back cover or the first few lines of the first page and rejected it? For whatever reason, the book didn't resonate with you or pique your interest enough to make you parade to the register with said book in hand.
As writers, we’ve all stared at the blank page. Sometimes becoming painfully paralyzed by the importance of the first line, we developed writer’s block. A debilitating illness affecting writers by rendering them unable to construct sentences. (Throws salt over shoulder)
Let me ease your suffering. The rescue medicine is Seven Ways to Create a Killer Opening by writer and Writer's Digest contributor Jacob M. Appel. He lists seven different ways to start your story or novel. Using one of his techniques might help your manuscript get out of the slush pile and into the hands of an editor or agent. And ultimately, one of the envied positions on a bookshelf near you. Good luck!