What Star Wars “A New Hope” Can Teach Us About In Medias Res

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Kristen Lamb's Blog

Yesterday, the AWESOME Marcy Kennedy taught “showing, not telling” using Star Trek” (hint, hint, take her class). So what is the natural follow-up for Star Trek?

STAR WARS….duh.

Setting is one of those tools that helps writers to do more showing than telling. Today, we are going to tackle a highly confusing subject for many writers—In medias res. In medias res quite literally means in the middle of things. This is a literary tactic that has been used since the days of Odysseus. It is a tactic that forces the writer forward, to begin the story near the heart of the problem.

The Trouble with In Medias Res

Ah, but this is where we writers can get in trouble. I see writers beginning their novels with high-action gun battles, blowing up buildings, a heart-wrenching, gut-twisting scene in a hospital or at a funeral, all in an effort to…

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One response »

  1. This is really good! I’ve always struggled with straddling the line between “Start at the action” and “What the hell is going on?” and this has helped me realise it’s because I’ve often forgotten to set up investment in the characters in the scene first.

    Which I knew was important but for some reason never really clued in that I had to tie the two together. Thanks!

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