In Medias Res: Definition and Examples That Start a Story in the Middle

In Medias Res: Definition and Examples That Start a Story in the Middle

One way to tell a story is to introduce the reader to the environment of the story. Descriptions of foliage and dirt roads, or of skyscrapers and clanging subway gears, can get the reader acclimated to the setting and can be a way to introduce the protagonist as a product of their surroundings.

But sometimes you just don’t have the patience for that. You want to hit the ground with the plot running at full speed, and once you’ve gotten the reader’s attention and piqued their curiosity, then maybe you explain what’s going on and how things got here.

Welcome to the world of in medias res.

Subtext Examples: 7 Simple Techniques to Supercharge Your Scenes

Subtext Examples: 7 Simple Techniques to Supercharge Your Scenes

As writers, we are always working to make our stories the best they can be. One of the more advanced techniques that can help you do this is by giving an underlying meaning in a scene—otherwise known as subtext. 

In a story, subtext  can be implied by the surface action and dialogue.

When you think about the books and stories that you most enjoyed reading, chances are that story’s scenes were woven with something deeper than what appeared on the surface.

Today I’d like to teach you seven simple techniques for using subtext in your story, which I’ll also teach with some subtext examples. 

Points of a Story: 6 Key Plot Points That Every Story Needs

Points of a Story: 6 Key Plot Points That Every Story Needs

One thing writers have told me consistently is that knowing story structure and the major plot points—or points of a story—makes writing great stories easier. But what are the main points of a story? How can you get them into your books?

I’ve personally found story structure to be incredibly helpful, not just in writing novels and screenplays, but also in memoir and even, sometimes, writing nonfiction books.

In this guide, we’re going to talk about the basic points of a story and how to use story structure to make your writing easier and more effective. I’ll share the six major plot points and talk about a few other points you might look for when writing a book that will give you a general roadmap to writing your story.

The Ordinary World: The First Step in the Hero’s Journey

The Ordinary World: The First Step in the Hero’s Journey

Have you heard the story of the orphan boy living in the cupboard under the stairs?

Or perhaps the story of the girl in District 12 (the crappiest District) who would not only survive an unwinnable deathmatch, but become a symbol of liberty?

Maybe you’ve heard of the baby boy who was going to die in a mass genocide, but whose mother put him in a basket and sent him down the Nile River . . .

If you didn’t catch those, here they are in order: Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games), and . . . Moses.

And all these stories follow the same classic story structure.

Writing Theme: The Simple Way to Weave a Thematic Message into Your Story

Writing Theme: The Simple Way to Weave a Thematic Message into Your Story

Does the concept of “theme” confuse you? Do you have trouble writing a theme, or weaving a theme into your story? 

If you said yes, you’re not alone. Lots of writers struggle to identify a theme in their book—and many don’t even know what thematic message the are communicating through their story until a second or later draft. 

The good news is, there are writing tips you can use when weaving a thematic message (or two) into your story.

The 10 Types of Stories and How to Master Them

The 10 Types of Stories and How to Master Them

How do you write a best-selling novel or an award-winning screenplay? You might say, great writing or unique characters or thrilling conflict. But so much of writing a great story is knowing and mastering the type of story you’re trying to tell.

What are the types of stories? And how do you use them to tell a great story?

In this article, we’re going to cover the ten types of stories, share which tend to become best-sellers, and share the hidden values that help you master each type.

But first, what do I mean by “types of stories”?

Elements of Suspense: How Mystery and Thriller Writers Grip Readers

Elements of Suspense: How Mystery and Thriller Writers Grip Readers

Do you remember how you felt while reading The Da Vince Code or Gone Girl? The sweaty palms, the pleasant shiver, the jaw-clenching tension? Remember how those well-drawn elements of suspense held you in thrall, feathering along your skin, raising goosebumps?

Suspense fiction comes in a variety of flavors, all delicious, and if you have a yen for building suspense in your writing and learning how to create the same kind of reading experience for your own audience, this is the place for you.

In a special series of articles, I’ll be your guide as we dig deep into the elements of suspense that grab readers and don’t let go. These elements apply, regardless of the publishing route you choose for getting your stories out to your suspense readers.

Here, we will learn how you can craft suspense in your own books, starting now.

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