One thing I have seen some published authors and many readers stress about a story is that it needs to grab their attention with something exciting. Hence when a lot of people are looking for a book they will read the first couple pages and see if it's exciting to them. I, myself, always try do that with my stories. I don't force something exciting to happen at the beginning but I always try to make sure that it grabs the readers attention. My question is that is there a potential point where it could be a little to much to start off? I'm working on my first novel. The beginning, like literally, starts off with a woman going insane before everyone because her son is about to be killed before her. The entire novel is supposed to be bleak and dark so it fits the story. But I'm worried whether a reader will be taken back a bit or maybe even confused by why this action is taking place immediately? For a little more detail I don't have the scene there to just grab attention. It's a horrid introduction for one of the main characters to show right away that he is brutal and ruthless. But anyways, what are your thoughts?