This is how my novel starts. At least in this draft. It could be a prologue as it occurs a few months before the main events of the story. However, as you will see, I have several scenes introducing characters and setting up for the “inciting incident” as it were. I might make the first chapter as a series of shorter scenes, like this, or several small chapters at the beginning.
Let me know what you think in the comments.
A thunderous crack of lightning awoke the darkness, and ripped the sky open. Two women, drapped in silken robes, struggled to stand in a small boat on the once still waters of Lake Nans. The rip loomed above them hemorrhaging chaos and swirling as it grew larger.
The younger woman chanted and moved her arms in great arcs, her fingers tracing out complex patterns as she held the rift in the Void open. Her mother held aloft a large sword wrapped in leather. She watched the gap grow, waiting for the right moment.
Before she had a chance to hurl the weapon into the rift, an enourmous shadowed hand reached out of the darkness. Grotesque fingers groped around, searching for their target.
The women learched in the boat, startled, but not completely shocked by the intrusion. They had prepared for this night ever since the Elder brought the sword to House Moon. They knew the spells, the optimal location to perform the ritual, but they knew this would be dangerous.
The boat rolled harder and the women lost their footing. The mother called out to the Elder on the far shore. Her eyes grew wide as the ghostly hand grasped at the air mere inches from her face. She nodded to her daughter and, before she could change her mind, braced her legs against the sides of the boat, and launched the sword toward the shore where the Elder stood, stiff and focused in meditation.
Instantly, the Elder’s hand darted out from his cloak, catching the leather wrapped sword and swinging it over his shoulder in one fluid motion. His wrinkled fingers never losing their grip. He returned to his stance but began chanting.
The younger woman’s chanting took on an urgent tone and the rift began to change, the vortex reversed and turned counterclockwise and the hole into the darkness shrank as she sealled the fissure. Enraged, the disembodied hand smashed down onto the boat, grasping for the women, and sending the splintered remains flying to the opposite shore. A huge wave rushed outward, sending waves cascading to the shores of the lake.
Suddenly, as if satiated, the rift imploded, swollowing everything, the noise, the chaos, the shadow, with a resounding pop, as if nothing had happened.
The lake became unnaturally still.