I need your help! I’m writing my latest work-in-progress and can’t make up my mind on the opening paragraph. Will you please tell me which you like best?
My working title is A Pony Express Romance and this first section takes place on November 30, 1860, in Ellwood, Kansas.
The prick of his horse’s ears was Josiah English’s only warning of impending danger.
His muscles tensed as his eyes scanned the roadside for whatever had the horse on edge. A rabbit about to dart from the bushes? A snake in the grass? Or a mountain lion about to strike?
From nowhere, a rope settled around his shoulders. What? Josiah reached to pull it off, but before he could get a hand up, it jerked tight, strapping his arms to his sides. With a violent lurch, he was pulled from his horse, landing hard on the ground. The breath fled from his lungs and he pushed hard, fighting the weight that threatened to smother him.
Option # 2:
“Don’t move, or I’ll shoot yer toes off one by one.”
Josiah English froze.
The rope that had settled over his shoulders tightened, strapping his arms to his sides and cinching up his chest. With a violent jerk, he was pulled from his horse, landing hard on the ground. The breath fled from his lungs and he pushed hard, fighting the weight that threatened to smother him.
Or maybe you like a combination of these openings? Feel free to piece together your favorite intro, and leave it in the comments below. Thanks for your vote!