Monday, January 18, 2010

Starting in the middle

Page 1, all finished!

(Next - pages 2 & 3)

I'm sure there's a term for this oft-used practice of starting a story at the climax, but I don't know what it is. At any rate, it's a useful device in that it immediately grabs the reader's attention, throwing them right into the action. By not telling them anything specific right away, you make them want to keep watching the film/reading the book to see how the story got to that point...uh, well, maybe not in MY story's case, but we'll see.

Consider AMC's Breaking Bad, my current favourite TV show. How did its first episode begin? With a pair of trousers drifting through the air in slow motion. As the trousers come to rest on a desert road, they are run over by an RV, driven by...a man wearing nothing but a gas mask and underpants, with an unconscious younger man (also with a gas mask) in the passenger seat and two presumably dead bodies in the back. Watch it here (hope that link stays active...) Isn't that excellent? I mean, just what the hell is going on there?! (And believe me, the show only gets better from there!)


  1. Good luck with th GN firt page looks ace

  2. The term is "in medias res". It's from Horace, speaking of the ideal epic poet: "Nor does he begin the Trojan War from the egg, but always he hurries to the action, and snatches the listener into the middle of things." . . .

    In other words, Horace thinks that you are following the path of an ideal epic poet. I'll keep reading.