Good question. In this case, I think for the opener of your book, you can be a bit more vague than usual because you are aiming to “hook” the reader. Although we don’t have the W’s all answered in that opener, we at least have a sense of who we are talking about, and we are aware we will very quickly learn who we are seeing the POV from, and that’s key.
After those three lines, I would highly recommend immediately giving us insight into the POV character before going further in the scene. Just a line or two that grounds us, sets the reader up, and then readers can comfortably move forward. Readers won’t care about the guy and his distraction on her if we don’t know who she is yet.
My first three lines of the opening scene don’t answer the three Ws at all…Maybe a little for Who.
When I wrote the opening I followed the rule of introducing both main characters right away which was important at my case as the hero will show up later in the third chapter. I also wrote it more for the visual effect and to show the climate of the story than for the informative purposes. So, I’m at loss now because I like my opening as it is. I’m afraid, changing it into the three Ws will wipe out the effect I was aiming for. Please advise. Thank you 🙂
<< I would have never expected that one day I’d meet that guy from a billboard. Average Janes don’t mingle with stars. The first time I saw him, he wore nothing but some clingy underwear. >>
So, not much in the first three lines but I’m adding more a little farther down. Is it acceptable?
<< Well, it wasn’t the real deal only his close-up, but whoever took the picture knew the ropes. The effect was stunning. The alpine snow briefs dazzled against the model’s ripped body portrayed in monochrome gray. In fact, it was such an eye-catcher, all passengers leaving Terminal 5 in Chicago O’Hare did a double take directly at his balls’ eye. Several people stopped dead in their tracks and admired the virile specimen with either wonder or wishful thinking. Or envy. None of them would believe that in a few months the poster boy would be arrested for attempted murder. Of me.
Weaving between his admirers blocking the exit, I hardly glanced at his bulging crotch. Not that I was blind or sick or anything like that. As a healthy young woman, in normal circumstances, I would have had the same reaction as everybody else. But on that day, July 15<sup>th</sup>, 1995, my very first day in America, nothing was considered normal circumstances. As the locals would say, I was in a pickle. The situation maddened me, and I simply couldn’t afford any distractions. >>
Katie McCoach, Instructor
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