Oliver sat back on his haunches and watched the sleeping woman. He'd been in this position for close to an hour, mesmerized by her, memorizing her. Brown hair, heavy and separated by sweat, draped across her flushed cheeks. Her mouth hung open as she drew air in trembling gasps. Body curled into a ball, she clasped long fingers beneath her chin. A chain attached to her left ankle stretched across her bare buttocks and fastened to the metal anchor plate on the wall behind her.
She released a long sigh, then inhaled with a low whimper. Her hands twitched, fingers fluttering like dry leaves in a hot breeze. She stirred from her sleep. Finally.
Oliver reached behind his back and touched the knife sheathed in his belt.Is it suspenseful? I hope it sets that tone since it is, after all, a suspense book.
That's an important point to remember. What kind of book are you writing? Humorous? Suspense? Cozy? Romance? An opening has to do so much: hook the reader, set the tone, establish the plot, introduce characters, maybe even drop clues or foreshadow the climax.
This is not the original opening. It’s been re-written several times. And may be again.
The opening is important. It may be the most important part of your manuscript when it comes to getting an agent or an editor. It could determine whether your book gets bought or left on the shelf. But, on the other hand, don't spend your life trying to create the perfect beginning. Write it. Then go on with the rest of the story. Then go back and edit. It’s important not to get stuck in one part of the book. You have to keep moving forward.