I do find it interesting when looking over the list and thinking about some of my favorite books how the intro drives me into the book. Looking at my bookshelf my favorite authors are really the ones that draw you in from the beginning of a book. It doesn’t have to be a finish it in one setting book, although some are, it’s more the emotional/ physical draw of wanting to see what happens next to the character. When looking I rarely remembered the actual intro to some of my favorite books, but I definitely remember which ones drew me in and kept me reading early into the morning because I was invested.
Bingo! The sad thing about teaching the craft of crafting opening scenes/chapters is that most readers can’t remember the opening. I think there’s a ditty that the first chapter sells your book but the ending sells your NEXT book. But, of course, the reader won’t get to that faboo ending without an equally faboo opening.
The equally interesting thing about D and A–the two you picked–are both deal with MCs (female, but that’s moot, I think) who are struggling emotionally with something in the past.
Universal, don’t you think? Yes, we don’t KNOW in those first paragraphs what “it” is. There are HINTS, there are emotional resonances that we instinctively glom onto. In A (Brit woke slowly…), the MC is seemingly in a nice place, silken sheets. Yet she’s both in avoidance and struggling emotionally with her past, in spite of all the nice stuff. (Author is Susan Grant, FYI.) D (Allie Fivestars) is not in a nice place. But she, too, is struggling emotionally and less about the place and more with… the past. (Author is Erica Hayes.)
Watch (or consider….) how though the settings are different in tone, the struggle is very similar.
This is why a pure setting opening (ie: the camera slowly zooming over the field of daisies) doesn’t impact most readers as much as a setting which is has an apparent and up-front emotional situation.
//Interstellar Adventure Infused with Romance//