My first 250 words and query were posted on a few different websites for critique and feedback. Let me stress: I appreciate every comment, and all of it helped me. I am very grateful for the comments I've gotten, because they helped me get to where I am now. But that doesn't mean it was any less frustrating to try to figure out what to do.
Here is real feedback I'd got on variations of my first page:
- Too much exposition at the beginning. Make it a conversation.
- I don't like opening with a conversation.
- There's too much action at the beginning. Back up and tell us some of the backstory.
- This is boring because it's all set up: nothing happens.
- I like that you added dialogue, but I don't like this dialogue.
See the problem? It's 100% impossible to incorporate all of these comments. Trying leads to madness. Just find someone to commiserate (OFF-line or away from public view), ask a couple of friends for their opinions (preferably those who've read more than one page), and do the best you can.