I don't know why I have this happen every time I write a book: every time I write a beginning, and every time I have to rewrite the beginning to remove the colossal suck from it. Why is this? I could not say. I can begin short stories without the Suckitude That Ate Golden Valley coming and rearing its head every time. But novels, no. Never. Evereverever. Why not? I could not say. I write out of sequence, so you'd think maybe just once. But no.
I fear that this one owes a bit too much in structure/cadence to a certain formative book of my youth, but there aren't any sea serpents, so it has to spill out somewhere.
At any rate, I have been trying for, no kidding, months to get this right--the vertigo slows the process, and I've been working on other things--and now I have one sentence. Just one. But I think it'll get all the rest. I think it'll do.