So, I am reading Jay Lake's Mainspring and something struck me. (no, not a poodle knocked off a ten-story window. Geez.)
This book begins, literally, at what I'm calling the lynchpin moment. The moment that sets the events of the book in motion. We're introduced to the main character at the very second his life goes topsy turvy.
And I realized that I don't write that way. My own works always have a bit of lead in, a bit of time to get to know the characters in their natural habitat before I yank the rug out from under them.
I don't know that one style is particularly better than the other, but the difference caught my eye enough that I felt compelled to remark upon it. And in case you're wondering, Mainspring is really good so far (I'm only a few chapters into it) and I recommend it highly.
On the submission front: Sadly, my one full request turned into a pass today. But honestly, the agent took a great deal of time to tell me what he found lacking, and he had awesome things to say about my writing (and my future as an author, from his lips to the gods' ears please). He also said that if I find myself revising in the future, to please keep him in mind. This could almost count as a win.
The one thing that really interested me was that he felt my main character wasn't three-dimensional enough, but that my plot was well-constructed. All along with project two, I felt my character was the strong point, and that my plot might be a bit weak. Just goes to show that it all depends on your perspective.