I'm just wondering how you start your YA novel? I read a lot of them and there seems to be a current throughout that sort of start with the action right away or some precipitating event that really gets the ball rolling quickly as opposed to mystery fiction (I'm thinking Stieg Larsson and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), which are usually fairly slow starting. The premise behind this question is that I have been struggling with the opening chapters of my own YA supernatural/fantasy fiction and I just would like to brainstorm with some people. For me, the problem is that I want to kill off my MC's parents to sort of get the ball rolling (having an adolescent with no parents is much easier to handle when she goes off on unknown adventures). I have this really lame dream sequence as the first chapter (sooooooo cliche it's ridiculous, but it was initially just to get me writing past the first chapter) and chapter 2 is that she's waking up from the dream (also sooooo cliched) to her house burning down, which results in her parents death and the story snowballs from there. Now that I have finished a first draft, I know my beginning needs some major work, but I'm not exactly sure how to do it without dragging on the beginning. YA audiences are fickle and you really need to catch them with an interesting beginning.