You can’t write something you can’t identify. It’s not enough to call the opening words of the novel the beginning. You have to know the difference between what goes into a beginning and a middle. It never hurts to brush up on those differences – The Beginning: What Is It?
Once you know what goes in a beginning, you have to write it. I like to keep it simple:
1. Start writing
2. Evaluate your work (honestly)
3. Edit and move on
If you want more details, go here – The Beginning: The Basics.
After you’ve figured out your beginning, it’s time to make it sparkle. Everyone starts reading a book at the beginning so you’ve got to get their attention. Pull the reader in and keep her there! (Just make sure your opening is genre-appropriate). See what I mean here – Beginnings: Get My Attention.
It really is worth the investment to study good beginnings, practice writing beginnings, and revise your work. Then figure out where that thin line exists so you know when to stop editing and move on.