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In Medias Res

November 24, 2015
Map of Rock House Fire

Map of Rock House Fire from Marfa Public Radio

I read an excellent post by fellow blogger and friend Jamie Wallace  about starting a story in the middle.   I’m sure I’ve read other stories told that way, just not the ones she referenced.  Fort Davis Rocks starts at the moment in 2011 when a wildfire roared into the small west Texas town.  I couldn’t see how to write the fire into the story; I couldn’t imagine what that was like.  I listened to news reports on Marfa Public Radio, looked at aerial photographs taken by my friend Carolyn Miller, watched You Tube videos, read newspaper stories, and even stood on the ground beside my friend and Fort Davis denizen Randall Kinzie as he described what it was like.  I solved the problem by making the story a loop; as the fire reaches the city limits, the story goes back one week, then comes back to the starting point.  Brilliant!  But like all my storytelling, the idea probably originated in my mind from something I read years ago, and surfaced just when I needed it.  Reading Jamie’s description of the technique was enlightening.  Thanks, Jamie!

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From → Writing Fiction

One Comment
  1. Suddenly Jamie (@suddenlyjamie) permalink

    Thanks so much for sharing, Robert. Flattered. 🙂

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