But then, he opened his mouth to sing. And it literally only took two notes to convince the audience (and a doubtful Simon!) that he had the talent. He had the X-Factor. Out of this frumpy, unassuming frame came the most soulful, raw, earnest voice. Absolutely amazing.
And it made me think: isn't it the same with writing? Can't we, as readers, often tell whether we'll like a novel within the first two pages -- maybe even the first two paragraphs?
So, as writers, we must see the importance of beginnings. First impressions are vital. That's why you'll hear, over and over, advice about making that first chapter, that first page, POP. You want it to be memorable. Irresistible. You want to hook the reader. Of course, the rest of the book should have that high standard of quality, as well.
But the first few pages could either gain you a loyal audience, or help you lose them altogether.