on Jane Friedman site:
Start in the middle.
Get all the important characters on the page in the first chapter.
Reveal what the protagonist wants.
Reveal the protagonist’s vulnerabilities.
Establish what’s at stake.
There are a whole lot of books on the craft of fiction out there, and it can feel like every one of them makes the case for one thing your book must do if it is going succeed. And for the most part, their recommendations are good.
But as far as I’m concerned, the novel is novel, in that it’s constantly being reinvented, which means precepts like those above can go right out the window if it serves the story.
There’s only one thing that any novel must do if it’s going to succeed, and that’s arouse the reader’s curiosity.