Most of us are all guilty at one time or another of starting a scene like this:
It was a dark and stormy night.
Unless you write scenery very well, it's a boring way to start a scene. I try to enter the scenes I write as late as possible, preferably in the midst of dialogue or action, and skip the travel log.
If the character is in a new place I want the reader to see, dialogue and action can show the place (versus me telling the reader about it):
"More pink," Alexandra said as she looked around the beach house. "Holy Toledo. Is there some state law that says every other thing in Florida has to be pink?"
"Why am I here instead of at home trying to sleep through Gloria’s game shows?" Harry demanded as he dropped his tray on the cafeteria lunch table.
I also sometimes start with a bit of condensed backstory needed to give perspective to the action:
Lucan had been trying to wake Samantha from the catatonic trance she had fallen into after Faryl’s escape, with no luck. He had tried cold water compresses, a capsule of ammonia from Burke’s first aid kit, and brandy. Nothing roused her.
And even an impaired character can still show what's happening through senses and dialogue:
"Hey." Someone was shaking her. "Time to make the donuts."
Sam groped for a pillow, found one, and put it over her face to block out the noise and the light. "Go away."
"I’d be happy to, Officer, but you’re in my apartment."
If I have to go with a descriptive opener, I like showing the characters versus the setting:
Byrne came out of the shadows, the hem of his great coat swirling in the faint mist. He pulled back the scarf covering his head, revealing blood-red hair that fell over his shoulders in waves, some of which had been woven into thin, tight braids. Byrne’s garnet mane contrasted sharply with the enigmatic swirls and lines of the dark blue tattoos on his face. He moved with the quick, easy power of a man accustomed to climbing mountains on foot.
What are some of the ways you open a novel scene?