I keep throwing out every opening I write for this thing because what the story really wants to do is open with the protagonist waking up from a dream.
But unfortunately for me and the story, that is a cardinal sin I don’t think I’m allowed to commit. It doesn’t matter if I produce the most brilliantly effective waking-up-from-a-dream opening that’s been seen these last ten years; too many editors will roll their eyes and chuck the manuscript without reading onward. And then readers, if I make it past an editor. Starting with a dream or the protagonist waking up is an unforgiveable cliche.