How “In Medias Res” Actually Works (& When to Use It) – by September Fawkes…

I haven’t ever done an article on in medias res in part because it’s been covered so much in the writing world already, what could I really add to it that you probably haven’t heard? Well, after looking around online . . . it turns out, quite a few things. I sometimes feel that in medias res gets misunderstood, and overused.

As most people who teach about in medias res will tell you within four seconds, “in medias res” is Latin that translates to “in the midst of things.” In some ways, this is pretty straightforward: Instead of starting a story with exposition or setup, you start with the action or conflict. Most people will cite that this will grab the reader and draw them into the story.

As someone who has read thousands of unpublished manuscript openings though, I’ll tell you that a lot of times, it doesn’t.

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