The tweet stream bemoaned the emphasis on starting a novel with action; saying instead that starting with tension was better.
I think the writer made a good point.
And I can think of some very fine books that start with tension rather than action.
But I can also think of some very fine books that start with action; the reader is dropped into the novel without any clues at all.
Which led me to realize that it's important to differentiate between advice in general (the tweet stream) and advice in particular (someone with their eyes on your work).
I spend a lot of time talking to authors about what to fix in their manuscripts. The guiding question is always "does this work?"
That's the ONLY criteria to use.
So, when you read good writing advice, pay attention.
But when you're deep into your manuscript, ask only "does it work?"
Readers don't have a checklist of rules writers must follow.
They want a good story, one that draws them in and keeps them reading.
"The Rutherford girl had been missing for eight days when Larry Ott returned home and found a monster waiting in his house."
—Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
Good storytelling is a mystical process.
There is no one right answer.
Not even here.