An old bit of advice I was given on writing was "led with action", that is give your reader something to grab at the opening. When this was for novels or short stories, it was good advice. Now though with online forums and even shorter attention spans on the reader's part, you need to hook them with the first sentence.
Here is a great article on the craft of hooking a reader with your very first word.
"The responses to my Twitter inquiry crystallized a nascent theory I’d been formulating about what made certain first lines memorable and propulsive—because, although the sentences came in all varieties, a pattern emerged. Nearly all the favorite first lines gave readers an elegantly balanced dose of clarity and curiosity. Or to put this another way: seductive first sentences ground a reader in a situation, while also prompting a question in the reader’s mind that propels them forward in the text.
This might seem simple from the outset, but clarity and curiosity can be at odds with one another if not calibrated carefully; too much of one attribute can overwhelm the other, diminishing the overall power of the first sentence.
But let’s define these terms more thoroughly before going any further. By “clarity,” I mean the ability of a first sentence to give readers an initial hand-hold for place and/or time and/or character and/or plot. Clarity is essential for a first sentence because, at the start of a story or novel—barring whatever information a reader might have encountered on the jacket copy or in reviews—the reader’s mental theater is a void. An unlit stage. A nothingness. Every word in that first sentence is an opportunity to shine a light on what is to come—to give a reader enough information to stabilize them in some degree of who and where and what the story is about.
What invokes curiosity in a reader, and thereby keeps them reading? In my opinion: weirdness, conflict, tragedy, mystery, the supernatural, any whiff of struggle, or something being slightly off. Reading Zink’s first sentence for Wallcreeper, I found myself wondering big questions like: Why did Stephen swerve? What happened next? Where were these people going and why? But I also found the narrator’s tone to be a little odd. The word “occasioned” is an unusual verb, suggesting a distinctive attitude. This diction made me willing—no, eager—to read more.
Reviewing Twitter’s favorite first lines, I was struck by another commonality, housed under the umbrella of clarity and curiosity. Maybe you have already noticed from the examples given in this essay—but it seems that many iconic first sentences mention death. Though at first I found the ubiquity of death in people’s favorite fiction openers a touch disturbing, upon reflection this commonality made perfect sense. In all these sentences, death is presented alongside some mention of time; time and death, one could argue, are clarity and curiosity pushed toward a logical end point. Information about time offers readers a sense of clarity by indicating the temporal architecture of a story. And the mention of death—the greatest unknown—makes us curious, which generates narrative momentum."
What do you think as a writer?