A good opening seduces like a winning chat-up line. In advertising they call it AIDA (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action!).
“It was the day my grandmother exploded” (Iain Banks, The Crow Road) is up there in terms of impact. Or Anthony Burgess, in Earthly Powers makes you want to know the character more:
“It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me.”
The first few words also help you to commit to the copy by giving a glimpse into the author’s mind, particularly his or her sense of humour. Guess where the following comes from:
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”