A flying start is a technique for beginning a larp, in which the game starts immediately, for everyone, at a given moment.
Players are told come up with a situation, task or something that the character is doing, and freezing in that action/place. It can be in the middle of conversation, or a situation where the player is going somewhere to perform some action. On a given signal (usually a gas horn or something similar) the game unfreezes as if you pressed play on a paused videotape, and the game starts.
The flying start is used to get the game going simultaneously, and to get a smooth transition from off to on.
- Oslo Winterlarps usually had a typical element of a flying start. Participants would go to bed out of character with the instructions that the larp will start when they wake up. Being 360 degrees larps these concepts avoided off-game time by including in the game playing in underwear, at toilets, in sleeping quarters and so forth. Often the organisers would stage a scene early morning when everybody were asleep that would wake people up and kickstart the story. This would allow the characters a reason to feel alarmed, and also allowing the players diegetic excuses for their character to be confused or insecure about how to react in the first hours of the larp.
The evening before the start of the larp would decorate their living quarters, get into costumes, make food and be only partly playing their characters, partly discussing routines like when to wake up, dishwashing, fetching water, maintaining the fire, foodmaking and other practical matters, sometimes also do last minute practice of names of related characters
In litterature and film the term relates to the concept in medias res.
In medias res or medias in res (into the middle of things) is a Latin phrase denoting the literary and artistic narrative technique wherein the relation of a story begins either at the mid-point or at the conclusion, rather than at the beginning (cf. ab ovo, ab initio), establishing setting, character, and conflict via flashback or expository conversations relating the pertinent past. The main advantage of in medias res is to open the story with dramatic action rather than exposition which sets up the characters and situation. Because it is a feature of the style in which a story is structured and is independent of the story's content, it can be employed in any narrative genre, epic poetry, novels, plays, or film.
Obviously so is also the case with larps.