Pitfalls in the Opening
It's critical that you write an opening that intrigues readers so that they want to continue reading. However, writing the opening of your novel is fraught with pitfalls. Here are a few:
Taking too long to get the story moving: Something compelling has to happen in that first scene, something that makes the reader have to turn to the next page.
Starting with backstory: Readers have to care about a character before they are interested in learning about that character's past.
Sowing confusion by starting too many plots and subplots: Take your time and focus on a single plot strand at the beginning; get that one going before you start subplots spinning; and always show how the different characters and their stories connect.
Overwhelming the reader by introducing too many characters at once: Just a few at a time is better.
Leaving your characters floating in space: Be sure to give the opening a clear sense of time and place.
Over-describing the setting: Write enough but not too much; a little weather goes a long way; layer in the details later.
Under-describing the characters: Give at least some sense of a character's physical appearance when the character first appears; if you don't, readers will fill the void and create their own version of that character's physical presence.
Stealing your novel's thunder: Don't open with a scene that is so exciting that nothing in the rest of the novel will match it; likewise, don't reveal a surprise that spoils what comes later.
Lastly, don't worry too much about making it perfect. Typically, new authors work and work and work that opening scene of the rough draft and stall out on moving ahead with the rest of the novel. Give yourself permission to write a lousy first draft and move on.