Friday, July 30, 2010
Literary Devices Part 5: In Medias Res
I have a local writing friend to thank for this one.
When I started writing poetry and fiction, my wise professor-friend Todd told me to remember the technique of "in medias res", latin for "in the middle of things."
One one level, plot-wise, it's about starting a story in the middle of things, not at the beginning. Classically, the Iliad is the example often cited, as it spans a few weeks in the last year of Trojan war, instead of starting at the beginning.
In poetry, for me at least, it's about bringing the reader right into the meat of the emotion or experience I'm trying to portray. Sometimes it's also about writing from within, as opposed to as an outsider.
In medias res has the ability to capture us by the throat with the first line and not let go.
Have you tried this technique, or like it in stories?