Stories should start in the middle of the action, right? You’ve probably heard that advice over and over again, in a number of different forms. Start strong, don’t let your characters dawdle around, give your readers something active to start with, and so on.
So is this always the best approach? Should you ever start your stories slowly, building up to the action later on? Or is it always correct to start trapped in the middle of a gunfight?
Just like writing, there are no hard rules here, despite what you might have heard. And writing, like life, is full of trade-offs.
Some stories will benefit tremendously from an introduction that’s fast-paced and full of action. Others need a gentle hand, one that guides the characters away from action, but not out of tension.