TIMIDITY IS THE ENEMY OF A WRITER. DON'T USE TWO PARAGRAPHS
TO CLEAR YOUR THROAT. PHLEGM IS NOT FUN TO READ.
I read these lines in an article awhile back and loved them so much, I copied them onto an index card and pinned the card to my bulletin board.
I do think there's a time and a place for easing your reader into your work but there's a definite difference between that and taking five or more pages to get to the point. When we take those five pages, are we just unsure of how to say what we want to say? Are we feeling our way through a dark room, looking for the door or a light switch? Or are we really anxious or scared to come right out and say what we want to say, to be bold, to declare "this is what my story is about!"?
And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go clear my throat all over my NaNo novel. It might as well be a giant hanky for all the phlegm it's caught so far.