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New Poll - Middle of the Action

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11:14 pm, May 22 2021
Posts: 10067


This week's poll was suggested by jacob66. You know that storytelling technique of dropping you off in the middle of the action and then doing a flashback of all the events that led up to that moment? Like in the movies where they go "Yup, that's me. You're probably wondering how I got into this situation". Do you like this technique?

You can submit poll ideas here
http://www.mangaupdates.com/showtopic.php?tid=3903

Previous Poll Results:
Question: In reality, you're lying in a coma. Everything you've experienced in your life was a dream in your brain. Do you choose to wake up?
Choices:
No - votes: 882 (25.3%)
Yes - votes: 2610 (74.7%)
There were 3492 total votes.
The poll ended: May 22nd 2021

Reality wins

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12:27 am, May 23 2021
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I quite like "In media res " starts, I think it's one of the most engaging ways to start a story. I remember I once accidentally bought the ninth book of a horror series thinking it was the first, it was a great experience, with no unnecessary flashbacks.

But the again doing an overly long flashback explaining EVEYTHING up to that point. Completely ruins this trope for me. I especially dislike it when it isn't done in a fluid or consistent way, and completely halts the current action. In manga, they usually don't want to spoil the action with the narrators insight. So we end up seeing a distorted vision of what the author wants us to see . Which usually is a good terrain for many ass pull plots too milk out a series.

They also use this trope when they stretch the story without telling us a key concurrence the all the characters are conscious of but purposely hide it from the reader over and over. This is even more annoying when it's a pivotal occurrence (ex.: in the Monogatari series we don't really know what happened in the golden week yet it's mentioned in almost every chapter without revealing everything...until later on ) . Nisekoi's whole plot is an example of this . CLAMP excessively abuses this trope.

Up to date I can't think of a manga that has done this well. Except maybe Berserk's golden ark. (Even then they hid some stuff to later throw it at our faces. Like the fairy he met as a child. )

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2:51 am, May 23 2021
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Depends on how it is done, so no opinion...

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11:51 am, May 23 2021
Posts: 2186


No opinion. Foregone conclusions are often gimmicky but can work. Committing to nonlinearity is probably the better idea. Like in Memento.

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3:54 pm, May 23 2021
Posts: 371


It can be done well, but I usually don't like it.

Post #790841 - Reply to (#790839) by RoxFlowz
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4:10 pm, May 23 2021
Posts: 1126


Quote from RoxFlowz
It can be done well, but I usually don't like it.

No better way to phrase it.

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Post #790843
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9:15 pm, May 23 2021
Posts: 43


No opinion. Depends on the writer's execution if I like it or not.

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Post #790864
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1:40 pm, May 24 2021
Posts: 733


Am i too tired or this question makes no sense lol

a situation that i myself went through? or someone else's? and starting in the middle? of what? how do you know there is a "middle"...

it is all rhetorical at this point XD

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Post #790871
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7:04 pm, May 24 2021
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Like anything else, it can be done poorly, but it often works pretty well. Gives you something to look forward while the story is in the introductory stages.

When done well, you can often feel how well the author has the story planned out in advance.

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Post #790874
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3:27 am, May 25 2021
Posts: 549


No. It’s just a cheap hook to get the reader/viewer interested. Writers don’t start a story that way because they think it’s great writing.

Post #790882
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2:11 pm, May 25 2021
Posts: 125


No opinion, as in "When done right..."

Berserk does it excellently, with the small arc (which I can barely, barely remember) before the Golden Age (?). The "Fuck you, Griffith (?)!" creates a tenseness throughout the entire GA. How will he become a God Hand?

(Should probably reread Berserk since I can't remember anything, but I'm still waiting for word if we're gonna get answers to all the questions or not (i.e. a "bible" left behind by Miura). Questions without answers are bleh.)

There's also the added value of enticing a reader, and many great stories start off painfully "slow". It's a quick way of showing its colors quickly, e.g. making promises to the reader that it won't be "slow" forever.


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10:11 pm, May 25 2021
Posts: 55


Hate it. There I go trying to avoid spoilers and what does the story? "Let's start with spoilers!" Grrr. 😠

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3:13 pm, May 26 2021
Posts: 18


Depends in how it's done.
First time I read a story like this felt so surprised, though I forgot which book it was 😅

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5:03 pm, May 26 2021
Posts: 55


Like a lot of comments, I have no opinion because it really depends on how it's handled. Personally as long as there are still twists after you catch up to the middle opening, I don't mind. But if you open right before the final climax, then it feels less compelling.

Post #790913
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12:32 pm, May 27 2021
Posts: 14


I don't mind being dropped in, but I absolutely loathe flashbacks that last longer than one scene.

If I'm dropped in somewhere, I want to know the resolution, not what led up to it. After the resolution I'm open for flashbacks again. Or during the resolution, like a detective explaining events type of things.

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