Set the mood of the story with description of surroundings, appearance of characters, or a symbol.
The beginning needs a hook or exciting incident to draw the reader in and turn the page to find out what happens next. Throw the main character into the problem within the first couple of pages. Add obstacles and characters as the story unfolds. It should be a roller coaster ride not a slow climb to the end.
Start the story in the middle of a conflict and show raw emotions so the reader bonds with the lead. Add a sympathetic trait to help the reader cheer the hero to victory. The main character, problem, and why it can’t be easily solved should be clear from the beginning. Introduce the opposition trying to stop the hero from obtaining his goal or objective.
Somewhere in the early part of the story foreshadow the outcome of the story.
Each event should advance the plot, reveal character development, or make reader feel a specific emotion.
Each chapter is a mini story with a setting, problem, and solution that leads to the next chapter.
The arrangement of chapters is important to create tension and build suspense or conflict. A common mistake it to reveal too much too soon. Hold back information and only give the reader a hint or small nugget of information but build on it in the next chapters until everything is revealed at the end.
Throw in the unexpected such as a mysterious or dangerous character that could be friend or foe.
Don’t be boring. The situation should be challenging and exciting with the main character taking charge. Add other characters and put them in danger to reveal motives and weaknesses of the main character. Each effort fails until the climax when the character achieves the goal and everything is tied together.