Opening of the book is one of the most important things. First and foremost, this is what going to decide if an agent accepts your book, and later if a publisher likes it. Assuming it made through those two doors, this is what is going to convince most readers to pick up your book. Of course there are people who would give books a chance more than others, but on the whole, opening is crucial.
So we, as writers, need to make sure that the opening chapter promises good things to come. Of course then with the rest of the book we need to live up to that promise.
How easy it is for you to pick what your opening scene should be? For my current WIP, I started a first draft with a particular scene. It felt like the right scene. It had action in normal setting for the character before he gets thrown into abnormal circumstances. After the draft, I deleted the scene, and started with the second scene because I felt that beginning was too slow. Then after a while, I felt beginning was too hurried, so I added the other scene back in, changed various things, tightened it. Now, I have taken that scene out again, amended the second scene slightly. I am not sure yet if I will stick with it, because I am still in the process of editing it, and also because of deleting the first scene, other things in the story will need to be amended, as whatever was said in the first scene, now needs to be said somewhere else.
One thing I am fairly certain of is that it will be either one of these two scenes, or a mixture of both that will open my book. I don't think I will be writing something completely new to go there. But some of the questions that came up as I edit this is finding the balance of introducing character without remaining stagnant. Launching into action, without making it seem too hurried. Getting readers to meet the character, and empathise with him, without making it a leisurely stroll. There are a myriad of other details that go into consideration, but most importantly, how does it feel when I read a book that begins with that particular scene. I try to look at it from a reader's point of view. That's why I can't usually decide while I am editing - because I am too close to my writer side. But once it's done, and I do a read through, then I get more perspective.
What about you? Does your first scene always remain the one you picked originally? How easy it is for you to determine what it should be? Do you ever have doubts about it?