One possible opening: For Ella, living in (insert town) was not the (quaint, homely, neighborly, or something of the sort) way of life the other. Traditionally told tales often start with a few words at the beginning that are . Once there was, one day there will be: this is the beginning of every fairy tale. Start with your chosen introduction and begin with the main so unless you want to write a novel in the fairy tale genre. But I highly recommend everything - aside from filler of course. Not one you see, equaled the king and queen, and as the princess was very ordinary, so were. Hope this helps get you going! On average, how many drafts and edits does a novel require? This modern day princess was no different. That draft will be your second draft.