Writing Tip #14 : In Media Res

In Media Res
(fancy Latin way of saying start in the middle!)

WritingUnless you’re a witness being interrogated by a cop, it’s not always a good idea to start at the beginning. Hook the reader first and then worry about giving details.

John Updike, in his short story A&P, does it like this: “In walk these three girls in nothing but bathing suits.”

If you want to start with a descriptive passage about the setting, make sure the setting is important enough to act as a “character” in the story. Otherwise, we don’t care. We want action, intrigue, mystery, quirkiness, anything to make us feel like we’ve been dropped into something interesting.