How useful/useless is the word "it" to you? It has been said that one should never start a sentence (much less a paragraph) with the word it. It makes sense, though, don't you think? It's way over used, but it sure is handy when you don't know what you're talking about.
Stephen King wrote a whole book about it. It won several awards and was listed as the best-selling book in America in 1986. It made it to TV, successfully making clowns the top of my "what to avoid" list and also making me take a long hard look at how I viewed Tim Curry. (Thank heavens I'll always have Clue to fall back on.)
It has been used to start classics. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times". It has also been used to start a scary story told on a cheesy Sunday night movie..."It was a dark and stormy night" (can you guess what movie?).
It is not a powerful word, by any means. It's vague...and short. It's like the Clint Howard of words (it's in everything, but usually doesn't add to the plot).
In short, I have determined that it has no place at the start of my story, but I'm sure I'll pop it in every once and a while.
(note to Mr. Picky-pants--I have gotten it out of my system.)