How do you go about forming your opening sentence? In my mind, it's the most important sentence of the entire story, because it sets the entire bar for everything else you write. I spend a lot of time trying to make sure my sentence has a hook in some sort of way: either some sort of conflict, something absurd, or something mysterious. I hate starting with any sort of exposition right at the get go, because I really want to absorb my readers and get them asking questions as early as possible. It has gotten to the point where I cringe if my opening sentence has any sort of expository set up that doesn't have one of the aforementioned criteria I mentioned. I love Steinbeck, but to take the opening line of The Pearl: "Kino awakened in the near dark," would never be a way I would let myself open a story. I just can't let myself. It doesn't have drama to me, and I can't let myself get away from trying to bring it out from sentence one. The problem is that sometimes my opening sentences don't have that hook that I strive for, and I end up driving myself crazy trying to figure out exactly how to work it in someimtes. Am I being to ridiculous with my need to comes out with guns smoking? Thoughts?