Originally Answered: What is a good way to begin a novel?
Well, I know you might want to start writing RIGHT AWAY, but plan!! The three novels I've finished have all had extensive planning (months... but you might not need that much). Take a fresh notebook, write down every detail you can that pops into your head about the background of the story, plot, etc, then make a character list & profiles for each one. Once you think you've figure out most of the plot, start planning each scene. Outline what's going to happen in each and write down important details you might forget later. I didn't know the ending for any of my novels when I started, but they come!
Hope I helped! I know it sounds a bit extreme, and you probably think I'm a little crazy. You certainly don't have to do ALL this, but it's what I did! And let me tell you, I couldn't have lived without my yellow notebook that had all my scenes planned out! Lol!