There are many writers who have given their advice on how to begin a novel. I have heard great advice and I have heard advice that I think could mess up a story. Writers should write however they please, but it is always helpful to gather other opinions. Writers wonder how to capture a reader's attention straight away. Do you use a prologue? Start from the beginning of the protagonist's life? Once upon a time? How can you make a beginning pop?
For me, the beginning of the story should start in the middle. Start the story in the middle of the protagonist's life. Whatever they're going through has probably been going on for a while. Maybe a girl its hiding from the cops. Why? Start there. Something must have happened to cause this. Start with the chase. The reader's mind will race, thinking up all the reasons for the cops to be chasing after said girl.
Think about it. No one's life simply starts. Even if the story is about a baby. Well... who are the parents? What makes this baby so special? The story wouldn't start with the back story of the mom and dad. That isn't important. That would be a snooze-fest for the reader. The story is about the baby, so start with the baby. Start with the mother going through labor. Throw the reader into a dramatic birth. The agony, the stress. Maybe she won't stop bleeding or the baby is breech. That is the beginning that will make the reader's heart ache. In the back of the writer's mind they will know who the parents are and maybe something in their life will come forward later in the story. Save that.
Beginnings don't have to be scary. I think writing the beginning is the funnest part. That is the start of a new world. New characters. It is the beginning that expands the imagination. Just start. The story will flow from fingertips to paper. Starting from the middle works for all types of writing. Novels, short stories, poems, even lyrics. Start in the middle and the rest will fall into place.