Narrative Opening Options(from the CIE website)

1. Starting in the middle
(This is called the in medias res device, when the narrative starts in the middle of either a sequence of actions, e.g. ‘The pursuers were catching up on him’ or in the middle of a dialogue, e.g. ‘‘I can’t believe you just said that,’ said Mary’. In both cases the reader is forced to try to imagine what has gone before and to quickly get involved in what is happening or being said now.)
2. Shocking or intriguing statement
(A shocking statement provokes the reader e.g. ‘I had always hated my mother and was glad that she was dead’. An intriguing one arouses curiosity e.g. ‘The clocks were striking thirteen.’ Both narrative openings make the reader want to read on because they are surprised.)

3. Flashback or flashforward
(Instead of starting in chronological sequence, a narrative can begin with a reference to a relevant previous event or jump to the future outcome of the story about to be told.)

4. Framing the story
(A narrative can have a ‘book ends’ framework of a story within a story, so that the beginning tells of someone who, for instance, finds a diary or hidden document and reads and quotes it, or who travels back to a place where something significant once happened to them and relives the experience.
5. Setting the scene
(The conventional way of starting a narrative is to provide the context by referring to the country, place, season, weather, time of day, and to introduce the main character by giving some detail about his/her name, age, job and problem. For example: It was pouring with rain, which was unusual for summer in Cyprus. Costas, a middle-aged bank clerk, was trying to make his way on foot through the flooded streets of the city to get home to his sick mother when ....)