I'm struggling with the opening sentence to my first novel. I've rewritten my introductory paragraph probably over thirty times now and still can't quite get it right. This is the closest I think I've been to something I'm totally happy with, but I need to get some feedback on the below:
"Tom hated flowers; they seemed so normal and unaffected - nothing had changed for them."
"Tom hated the flowers; they seemed so normal and unaffected - nothing had changed for them."
In the second version, the addition of the definite article, I feel, makes the sentence flow better. But now it runs the risk of being ambiguous. Which flowers? All flowers? A bunch of flowers near Tom? Something else?
The first version, in comparison, is more technically correct, but I feel it falls a bit flat and has less impact.
It could be that neither of these really work and i'll have to rewrite this sentence entirely, or perhaps even forget about using this as a book opener.