“If there is nothing to grab the reader in the first page, it’s probably getting a “no” vote. Thems just the breaks. This is part of why writing teachers harp on the importance of the first page, first paragraph, and first line. That may be all that’s read.”– Lincoln Michel
It took me awhile to get this – I always assumed the story started where it needed to, and that setting up the characters and narrative evolved at its own pace, as long as it was interesting and well-written.
But I get it – if you’re a slush reader, something needs to grab you quickly or else it goes in the rejection pile.