Hampton Roads Writers


Here are 2 story hooks that effectively use the IN MEDIAS RES technique. (First sentence plunges reader into the middle of events ) Which is your favorite or strongest start? Why?

From Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid's TaleWe slept in what had once been the gymnasium.

This is a short sentence with all sorts of hooks flying around. Who is 'we'? Why is the gymnasium no longer a gymnasium? How did the sleepers end up there? What has happened so far? What will happen when they wake up?

From Dick Francis’ Trial RunI could think of three good reasons for not going to Moscow, one of which was twenty-six, blonde, and upstairs unpacking her suitcase.

Why doesn't the speaker want to go to Moscow? What other reasons does he have? Who wants him to go? We guess he will, so how is he persuaded? Note how in both sentences, the authors assume you have as much knowledge as their speakers. They leave questions unanswered; most readers will stick around for the answers.

YOUR TURN!! . . . .YOUR TURN!! . . . .YOUR TURN!! . . . .YOUR TURN!! . . . .YOUR TURN!! . . . .

Create an opening sentence using IN MEDIAS RES.


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