Writing Excuses Master Class my friend and I are working our way through. Often time when discussing the beginning of a story, writers talk about the "promises" that a story makes. Essentially, within the first few paragraphs or so, a good writer should be telegraphing to their readers what the story is going to be about - the tone, the genre, the main character, the setting, and so on. For this exercise, we had to take the first page or so of our work in progress and show it to someone who knew nothing about the story and see what that person thought the story would be about.
My current story is about a priest who specializes in destroying items endowed with evil magic. He's brash and overconfident (and also racist), and in the story he is given three "gifts" which, in specific circumstances, will combine to unleash a terrible trap for him. After showing my wife the first page, here is what she said she thought would happen in the story:
"I feel like this is a set up for a story in which this guy lets
something in that he didn't intend and underestimates some insidious
dark magic-y thing and deals with either personal corruption or the
corruption of many of his order as a consequence. Maybe trojan
Guess I must have made the right promises!