Anyone familiar with early drafts of my writing can tell you that beginnings are my biggest struggle. Not because the beginning doesn't come. It does. Boy, does it come. In a vomit of description and character and dialogue and tonal inflections and figurative language, it comes. I want the reader to be right there with me in all the places I have discovered and all those nuances left to discover, often all at once. Sometimes I forget the reader and I are not already friends, that we haven't spoken at least three dozen times about the grand "what ifs" of fiction. Sometimes I even forget the reader is looking for one good excuse to abandon the story.
Author Benjamin Percy compares readers at the beginning of our stories to coma patients. Have a look. I shall picture a reader burdened with a suitcase labeled short term memory each time I revise a story's opening. Since we're all about London this week, I say, "Brilliant."