[Writing Prompt] Guest Prompt from Simon Kewin

To engage your readers and hook them in from the first line, it’s a great idea to start in medias res, which means into the middle of things. So…

Kicking off the next few days’ Guest Prompters is StoryADay past participant Simon Kewin, who provided this great prompt. Thanks, Simon!

To engage your readers and hook them in from the first line, it’s a great idea to start in medias res, which means into the middle of things. So, instead of opening with long descriptions of background and prior events, jump straight into the action. This is immediately more engaging for the reader. The trick for the writer is then to drip-feed into the narrative information about prior situations the reader needs without it becoming too intrusive and, well, boring.

The following prompts are opening lines of stories that start in medias res. See where they – or something like them – lead you…

  • Nate plummetted to the ground, screaming Kate’s name as he fell.
  • Amanda Frobisher stood in front of the entire school, only to find no words would come out of her mouth.
  • Jamie stood in the wreckage of his ransacked house, trying to take it all in.
  • Max had one bullet left. He had to make it count.
  • “So, will you marry me or not?”

 

Simon is a UK writer and a previous StoryADayMay participant. He has two novels appearing this years: Engn, to be published by December House in July and Hedge Witch, to be published by Morrigan Books on Hallowe’en. He can be found at http://simonkewin.co.uk

4 thoughts on “[Writing Prompt] Guest Prompt from Simon Kewin”

  1. I chose the second sentence and discarded the first idea that popped into my head–a student about to make a speech who is struck by stage fright–and found that Amanda was enrolled in a school that demanded students condemn one another in Cultural Revolution-like rituals. Amanda’s refusal to condemn a boy’s unfounded allegations against her sparked a riot against the authorities.

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