Writer's Digest: The opening of a short story or novel is just that—the very beginning. That’s the simple and straightforward definition. However, what this book is really concerned with is illustrating the differences between good and bad openings—although perhaps it may be best not to assign words like good and bad to openings. Instead we’re going to be talking about and describing openings that work and openings that don’t work.
Read more at OPENING SCENES: AN OVERVIEW.