In Medius Res
If it were an fighting scene, with 5+ characters, each with their own names, I would definitely find it hard to read, as an example.
It can also be a bit of a cliche, to start the story in the middle of a brawl. Fights are interesting and tense only after you develop a connection to the character. Otherwise it's boring. Unlike a movie, you need to invest effort into picturing the scene. And that's hard to do if we aren't acquainted with the characters, or the setting.
If you mean "in medias res" in the more general context, like completely skipping the boring beginning, and starting in the middle of the plot (not a random pointless fight scene), I raise no objections! Start telling the story at that moment in time which will make it the most interesting and fun to read. This could be a "10 years ago" interlude scene, or two weeks after our character got magic powers. If done well, anything can work, so just pick what you like best! No hard rules about this, I think.
What's less common is to do the flashback part of the classic model, but it's still there. We see it happen plenty of times. It's harder to pull off, though, because the transition is key.
So I say that if you're feeling like it's enough of a leap to ask for advice first, then don't do the flashback. Just do the immediate start and let the details trickle out through the story.
It puts the reader into the story. It avoids the temptation of authors to "setup the novel" with a bunch of concordance, history, and backstory, possibly the very worst way to start anything, from a manual to a novel, and discourages adding what amounts to needless liner notation and details that belong in the authors plot outline, not in the book itself. It encourages page turning, by building reader curiosity. It starts a novel off so that it more likely "shows not tells". It is in short, good practice. Below is the current starting text for the Sequel to A Forgemaster of Wayland, Working title, The Forge of Five Winds that I am working on (Dont look for it, its not online currently)
I hung from a clay wall in shackles of cold iron, that bit into my wrists. Pain throbbed in shoulders sprained by the hang of my own weight. A cough wracked me, causing the chains to jerk, doubling my agony. The sound of a mesmeric chant echoed from somewhere nearby, sounds I had thought never to hear again. They had taken my wife, Dimanda and that agony, frantic worry over what had happened to her, pulled the very soul out of me.
It had all started out so simply, with a bit of surprising news from an unexpected visitor.
NovelNinja Wrote: In medias res (with an A, just so you know; I'm not judging, just being a stickler)
Appreciated, and Noted.
At any rate, I get, that its common advice, as many of you have mentioned, and that its hardly unique in any means.
My question more pertained, to how readers of RR feel about it, in your perception. I feel like with most of the stories on here, they're isekais, or cultivation, or gamelit, where in the first two especially (and I feel like growing understanding of the system for the third is a part of the story) its the building up that is important. It's the slow acquisition.
The story I was thinking of running is a kind of...World Hopping Harem thing that's going to blend a ton of elements, and I was planning with several of the girls already being in the party, and doing flashbacks or dialog to backfill. I personally hate writing parts of the story that are, before the buildup. It's like starting DnD at level 1. sure, its a part of the experience, but I'd rather skip it as much as possible. My concern, is that this will be received very poorly, given the general audience of the platform.
While I am excited about the plot and world I've devised, I'd rather not write it if like only three people are going to read it you know?
That said, I really don't know how the audience will react.