Well, I think rules might not be the best word – it’s more a form – something that you can use to make writing a great story easier.
- Try to pick the most intriguing place in your piece to begin.
- Try to create attention-grabbing images of a setting if that’s where you want to begin.
- Raise the reader’s curiosity about what is happening or is going to happen in an action scene.
- Describe a character so compellingly that we want to learn more about what happens to him or her.
- Present a situation so vital to our protagonist that we must read on.
- And most important, no matter what method you choose, start with something happening! (And not with ruminations. A character sitting in a cave or in jail or in a kitchen or in a car ruminating about the meaning of life and how he got to this point does not constitute something happening.)
I think there is a lot obvious truth to rule #1. After all, if you don’t pick the most intriguing place to begin with, you’ll probably won’t suck a reader into your story.
But I wonder abour rule #6 – can’t you really start with something that’s going on in a character head? It seems that this rule could easily be broken without risking to write a a bad story.