In medias res, ( Latin: “in the midst of things”) in narrative technique, the recommended practice of beginning an epic or other fictional form by plunging into a crucial situation that is part of a related chain of events; the situation is an extension of previous events and will be developed in later action. – Encyclopedia Britannica, available at http://britannica.com
I must have heard the term in media res as a college English major a hundred years ago, but it made an impression on me as a fiction writer when I was working on Voyage of Strangers, my first historical novel. Its protagonist was Diego Mendoza, a young Jewish sailor who accompanied Columbus on his first two voyages to the Indies. Diego’s sister Rachel became a second point-of-view character.