I've read that it's called cheating to start a story near the action and often leaves people confused, etc. I want to write short stories and the question I'm asking myself is "Would people care about so and so's dreams? Or would they care more about how the character goes through the situation?"
I'm watching one of my favorite series, about Marines, and the show starts with them conducting a drill in the middle of the desert. You don't know who is who until the story unfolds. I love it. At first they're strangers, you know nothing about them, then, overtime, you learn a little more about each character. And I love how they don't break down acronyms like other shows and books do. "I was considering NJPing yo ass! …Sgt. Colbert! This is what happens when you don't enforce the grooming standard! The mens gets all lax, and then other standards fall. Devil Dog here stops using his chin strap, goes over a bump and kevlar goes flying off his head, and our entire pro-tec-tive posture is weakened!"
But with books, and short stories, for whatever reason, chapters have to be spent introducing the characters. It's cheating to start in the middle of the action or close to it, it's poor writing skills (I've been told). I'm sorry. I'm no Ernest Hemingway, Homer, George Orwell, Andre Norton, or Audley Huxley.
People are short on time these days and I'm thinking I need to hurry up and make my point when I write my stories which is why I'm asking; what are some okay methods to use to establish a character and get to the action? Methods that aren't "cheating".
Source: reddit post