Hello Writer Bugs!
Today, I’m sharing with you a writing trick that will hook readers from the first sentence. Yes, you heard right. Grab the audience’s attention instantly with In Media Res. Confused by this Latin phrase? Don’t worry, I’m simplifying this narrative technique. This is the crash course in In Media Res.
What is In Media Res?
Glad you asked! The term In Media Res translates to “In the midst of things.” This means a story hits the ground running and begins in the middle of a scene. Forget about lengthy exposition or flowery description. Start in the middle a conversation or an action sequence. Later on, you can drip feed readers information and backstory through flashbacks and dialogue.
Why does this trick work? Because it piques the audience’s curiosity. And that’s any writer’s goal, to catch the reader’s interest. It makes them feel like they have to catch up with the plot to learn more about the characters and their world. Think Alice chasing after the white rabbit.
No Context? No Bueno.
Yes, there is a wrong way of applying this writing technique. If you start a story too late, and don’t give any bits of context on characters and setting, the audience will be lost and confused. They wont’ keep reading if they have no idea what’s going on.
Be smart about when and where you choose to start the opening scene. You want to hook readers while giving them enough context to keep their attention. A fine line on balance on, I know. However, when you use in media res right, it can turn your story into a page turner.
Stories that Start In Media Res
Want to see this technique in action? Check out some of these attention grabbing titles.
In media res can be a powerful tool in your writer arsenal. And if done right, you’ll have your readers on the edge of their seats.
What are your favorite stories that jump right into the action? And what do you think of this writing technique? Have you used in media res before? Lemme know in the comments. As always, I’d love to hear from you guys.
Stay safe and keep writing!
— Lady Jabberwocky
2 thoughts on “A Crash Course in In Media Res – Hook Readers Instantly with this Trick!”
Need to hook them from the first page, if not the first sentence! 💞💞💞
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I couldn’t agree more with this technique, particularly for mysteries, thrillers, romance and sci-fi. Short story fiction writers who transition to novels have a slight advantage due to already understanding how to start in the middle of the action and economize their words. Using this technique not only hooks readers but allows the author to introduce background and information in a more interesting way by avoiding a linear pattern of storytelling. Great advice!
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