I'm working on editing a novel (the one I wrote during NaNo 2006) and I've been considering changing the beginning drastically. As it stands, the main character is from our world and is magically transported into the world of the novel--though it turns out she was actually born in that world. I'm thinking of changing it to having her grown up in the world of the novel, with no connection to our world at all, but having been raised by people who are not her parents. I first started thinking of the change as a way to avoid the cliche "heroine-moves-through-magical-portal" beginning, but then I realized that I had originally thought of that beginning as a way to avoid the cliche "heroine-grows-up-in-obscurity-with-no-idea-of-her-true-heritage" beginning. So I thought I'd make some lists.
Reasons to change
1. No "heroine-moves-through-magical-portal" beginning
2. Makes more sense for the bad guys
3. Heroine is already familiar with the world, can be described in narration
4. Could start novel with stuff about moon
5. More potential for sequels
Reasons not to
1. No "heroine-grows-up-in-obscurity-with-no-idea-of-her-true-heritage" beginning
2. Have to take out all the comparisons to our world
3. Heroine already knows about moon--no element of surprise
4. How do the magician and his apprentice find her without further cliche?
5. Without a totally different cultural context, what makes her special?
17 hours ago