In medias res is a Latin phrase that means “in the middle of things.” It’s used to describe a situation in which an event happens without any prior indication of what will happen next.

The phrase comes from stage drama, where it was often used to signify that the action on stage was taking place while something else was happening off stage (for example, while the actors are saying their lines).


In Medias Res

What Is In Medias Res?

In medias res is a Latin phrase that means “in the middle of things.” It refers to a narrative technique in which a story begins in the middle of its action.

The technique can be used for a variety of purposes, such as to introduce characters and give an idea of what has happened so far or to move the story along quickly.

In medias res can be used as an effective way to start a film or television show in which there are no scenes set before the beginning of the action.

Because it is set in the middle, it offers viewers the opportunity to learn about characters and events without having to wait for exposition or backstory.



In movies and TV shows, in medias res scenes are often used to start or continue a story. The camera will pan up or down until it catches sight of the protagonist as he or she is walking down an unfamiliar street or driving down an unfamiliar road.

The scene will then cut back to wherever the character had been moments before for another scene often a flashback sequence and then pan up again to show where he or she is now: walking along in front of a building, opening the door and stepping out into a hallway, sitting in front of a desk at work and looking at documents strewn across it.

Why Start A Story In The Middle?

 The most common mistake I see people make when they are writing a story is that they start in the middle.

The reason they do this is because they think it will be easier to write if they don’t have to go back and re-write what they’ve already written. But this is a bad idea. It’s much better to start at the beginning, even if you know everything you need to know about your characters and their world.

If you start in the middle, as so many writers do, then you’ll be spending a lot of time trying to figure out what’s going on in your story and how it fits together. This can take up a lot of time and energy, which means that you’ll have less energy left over for actual writing.

Benefits Of Starting A Story In The Middle

 Beginning a story in the middle is a great way to draw readers in, but it also has its drawbacks. Here are some of the ways that starting a story in the middle can make or break your narrative.

  1. It Can Be Difficult To Tell Your Story

Starting a story in the middle can be difficult because you have to build up suspense and excitement for what will happen later. This can be hard if you’re not used to writing mysteries or thrillers, because you don’t want to disappoint those who have been reading your work for years. If you’re new to writing and haven’t developed an audience yet, then this may not be as big of an issue.

  1. You Might Not Know Your Ending

If you’ve never written anything before, then it’s likely that you don’t know where your story ends up (unless you’ve already planned out every single detail). Starting a story in the middle means that one of two things could happen: either your ending will be revealed when you reveal what happens next (in which case, no one will care about why things happened as they did), or your ending will remain a mystery until readers discover it themselves through reading

Reasons Why We Begin In Medias Res

Why do we begin in media res?

Because the story begins with the hero being in a place where he’s not ready for his adventure. He’s still at home, in the middle of his ordinary life, and has no idea how to go out on his own.

How do we know this? Because the hero’s story begins with him being thrown into a situation that he can’t handle. If our hero were born ready for adventure, there would be no question about what to do next.

We would know that if we saw him walking down the street, or listening to music, or reading a book, he was already an adventurer and could go anywhere in the world at any time.

But he hasn’t been thrown into a situation yet; maybe he’s been thrown into an office job or school or a family or something else entirely different from what you’d expect from someone who is already an adventurer. So he’s got no idea how to handle this new situation and is completely lost when it comes time to act.

What Movies Use In Medias Res?

 In the past, TV shows like The Twilight Zone, Twin Peaks and My So-Called Life used in medias res. But that was a long time ago. Now most TV shows are shot in real time, which means they only use the first 15 minutes of any given episode to show you what has already happened.

The idea behind this is that if you watch an episode of a show like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, you’re going to want to watch more than one episode per week. You’re going to want to binge-watch so that you can see what happens next. And when you’re watching tv shows online, that means using streaming services like Netflix or Hulu.

So that’s why we don’t see much use of in medias res anymore in movies and on TV — because people want to binge-watch shows and movies online instead of waiting for them to air on network television or cable channels.

In Medias Res Examples In Film

In the movie The Matrix, the audience is first introduced to Morpheus, a character played by Laurence Fishburne. He is a computer programmer who works at a big software company called Cohaagen corp.

He has been dreaming of the Matrix for years, but his wife believes that he is crazy and refuses to believe in it. In exchange for her silence, Morpheus agrees to tell her about his experience with the Matrix.

The first scene shows him telling his wife about how he discovered the truth about reality when he was in college. He explains that “the world that you think you know is an illusion, created by you as part of your own blue-screen dream.” He then goes on to explain what happens when we die: “Your mind splits into a thousand pieces which are scattered throughout time and space.”

The next scene shows Morpheus’ wife waking up from what appears to be a nap in bed only to find that she is strapped into an electric chair in front of an all white room with no furniture or anything else except what looks like a computer monitor floating in front of her face.

She tries desperately to get out of the chair but it seems impossible until she realizes that she can move her head back and

In Medias Res Example – Saving Private Ryan

 Saving Private Ryan is an example of a movie that uses in medias res. The film starts off with the story of a group of soldiers who are on their way to Europe to rescue a group of American soldiers who were sent there to die in battle.

After they arrive, they find out that the men they were sent to rescue have been killed and their bodies are being held as prisoners by the Germans.

The film then jumps back in time where we meet Private Ryan (Tom Hanks), who has just been shot in the shoulder and is being treated by a doctor (Tom Sizemore).

He tells him that he was shot by a German sniper while he was fighting for his country, but it doesn’t seem like Ryan believes him since he was hit by this sniper while trying to save his fellow soldiers from the Germans.

After this, we see Private First Class James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon) as he is being transported across France with other wounded soldiers on a train headed towards Germany. The train stops at a small station where it is attacked by German troops and this causes many casualties among those on board including Private James Francis Ryan himself who has been wounded again during this attack

In Medias Res Example – Mission: Impossible 4

 The first two movies in the Mission: Impossible series are set in real time, meaning that the events depicted take place in chronological order without any kind of interruption. In the third installment, however, Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt was able to jump back and forth between scenes using a device called a “time-jump.”

The movie ended up feeling a bit disjointed, with only one scene taking place over the course of more than one day (the rest of the movie was compressed into one night).

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation takes this concept further by introducing a new character who can jump forward and backward through time as well. This allows director Christopher McQuarrie to create an elaborate action sequence that plays out over several days in Paris.

The time-jump device is also used in The Adjustment Bureau, which also uses it as an effective way to set up its plot.

In Medias Res Example – Forrest Gump Opening Scene

 The opening scene of Forrest Gump is an example of in medias res. The film opens with Forrest running home, where he sees a sign on which is written the name Jenny and the address of her house in Savannah.

As soon as Forrest arrives at his house, we hear the voiceover that tells us that “he was born on December 14, 1945. He was a very happy child but his parents were not”.

The film then goes back to the moment when Forrest’s mother gives birth to him and shows us how she eventually loses him from her life after she brings him home from the hospital. At this point, we know nothing about what happened before Forrest was born or what happened with his parents afterwards.

Forrest Gump’s first encounter with Jenny is also an example of in medias res: We see them both walking down a road together and then they run into each other again later in their lives – this time as adults – at a diner where they have been reunited by their mutual friend Bubba Smith (John Lithgow).

In Medias Res Example – American Beauty Opening Scene

The opening scene of the film American Beauty is one of the most memorable moments in cinema history. It has become iconic, and it is one of the most discussed scenes in the film.

The opening scene shows a man sitting on his porch with his hand in his pocket, looking at a camera that is filming him.

It is an example of a “flashback”, which is a type of flashback in film editing that takes place during actual events in the story line rather than at some later point when it would be irrelevant. In this case, the flashback occurs before anything else happens in the movie.

This allows us to understand who Kevin Spacey’s character is before he meets Ricky Fitts and gets involved in his life (or so we think!).

Narrator-Driven In Medias Res Examples

There are times when you want to use a narrative voice for your story. Perhaps the narrator is telling us about a time in their life or sharing some advice that they received.

In these cases, it might be helpful to start with an introduction and then add in more information as needed. For example, you can say something like “Once upon a time there was a girl named Lisa who wanted to be an author. She also had problems with her friends at school and found herself being bullied by them.”

Then when you get to the part where you want to tell more about how she dealt with her bullies, you can continue with “One day she decided she would write an amazing novel about how she overcame all of her problems. When she finished writing it, she sent it off to publishers and received many offers from different companies.

In Medias Res – Wrapping Up

 In Medias Res is a video game series that was created by the Team Fortress 2 team at Valve. In Medias Res is a collection of short videos, each of which is playable on its own, but also serves as an introduction to the next episode in the series.

The videos are released every few months and each one features different characters from both TF2 and other Valve games.

The first episode of In Medias Res was released on June 20, 2015 and featured two characters from Team Fortress 2 (Pyros and Spy). The second episode, released on October 26th, 2015, featured two more characters from Team Fortress 2 (Sniper and Heavy) along with two new ones (Medic and Engineer).

This episode also introduced two new characters from other Valve games (Dota 2’s Sniper and TF2’s Medic), but they were cut short due to some technical issues with their models.

The third episode of In Medias Res was released on January 30th, 2016 and featured another set of characters from Team Fortress 2: Sniper, Spy, Pyro and Demoknight. It also included another set of characters from other Valve games: Portal 2’s Chell and Half-Life’s Gordon Freeman. The fourth episode was released on May 27th