Should you begin your novel “in media res”? Here’s why you might want to

Excellent article about the positive side of starting your story in the middle of the action.

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

Authors (or rather, poets) have been starting stories “in media res,” or in the middle of things, since Homer sang the Odyssey and the Iliad in Ancient Greece.

Beginning “in media res” is still common today: though of course, there are many examples of great stories and series that begin at the beginning, with “once upon a time.”

Starting in the thick of the story, in the thick of action, can have a lot of benefits. It’s not for every author and every story, of course, and I think there are degrees of starting “in media res.”

  • My first published novel is about a resistance movement, one that starts when a socerer-noble kills the king and takes the throne.
  • I start the action after the villain’s in power but before the protagonist joins up with the rebels.

When you’re plotting out a story, or editing and rearranging things, there are…

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About JulianneQJohnson

I am a writer in Indiana who lives with two cats, two ferrets, and one fiance. I enjoy cheap coffee and expensive chocolate.
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3 Responses to Should you begin your novel “in media res”? Here’s why you might want to

  1. I do follow her blog. Some of the subjects she covers are things I’ve already thought about, but she always has a fresh opinion on it. Plus, I like the way she talks. Informative, but unpretentious. That’s how I try to be.

  2. junewilliams7 says:

    Do you follow her blog? Have you learned a lot about writing from her?

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