As I'm getting ready to start a first draft on a new novel I'm starting to rethink how I should go about that initial first scene. My main strategy has always been to show the character a little before a turning point. For one novel I had a school teacher's anxious days before his new year starts ( in which he meets a very odd student ) Looking at it now it seems like wasted rubbish. In another novel I started with a child's accident provoking a man into making a career change to pay for the hospital bills - again wasted rubbish. And in my first novel I actually did not show my mc until the second chapter and started with a murder. I'm on the fence on that one. The trick is to find the right moment of where to start – too far into an event I have to back pedal and explain, and too soon it feels like excess. Right now I'm debating what scene to start with. The idea of the story is to have a family plus the wives ex-husband living in a very spooky house. When I first thought of the story I planned on starting it with them ( including the wife and children ) walking through the house of the title before purchasing it ( a bit of a change for me to jump right in ) – but that would mean back pedaling to explain their situation of how they decided to buy a house together. Explanations which could turn into an info dump. My other idea was I would rather have Ike picking up Obadiah at the mental institution and having the facility foreshadow the house. So I'm back to where I usually start my novels before the cusp of a turning point. Interesting too that I'm already consciously thinking of foreshadowing. Plus, I like the idea of isolating the two characters – Ike and Obadiah who will have the biggest clash in the novel. So what runs through your head when you are about to start that first scene – goal, foreshadowing, tone, character, setting, the quiet before the storm?