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Guidelines for writing Poems, Stories and Tales

How to keep it interesting before the inciting incident?

Asked by: Cathy Moon

What comes before the inciting incident?

You’ll recognize the inciting incident as the event that triggers the primary action, rather than simply the first event to occur. There may be some backstory or buildup before this, such as a conversation or scene leading up to it — but that doesn’t change its role in the story!

Can you start with the inciting incident?

The inciting incident drives the plot of a good story forward. It should appear in the first act, the prologue, or as close to the introduction as possible. This way, you can hook the attention of readers sooner.

Should the inciting incident happen in the first chapter?

An inciting incident is the event that starts your story. If you think about some of the most successful stories you’ve read, you can probably identify the moment the action really began. Usually, it’s in the first couple of chapters or within the first act.

What comes after the inciting incident?

The hook and the first plot point belong at their given spots, no matter where the inciting event ends up. Often the inciting event is the hook; often it’s the first plot point; and often it’s somewhere in between.

When should the inciting incident occur?

An inciting incident is the first major plot point in the movie that usually occurs between one and three minutes in. It’s the major change or formative event that ignites the protagonist’s connection with the antagonist.

What is the purpose of the inciting incident?

The inciting incident of a story is the event that sets the main character or characters on the journey that will occupy them throughout the narrative. Typically, this incident will upset the balance within the main character’s world.

Is it possible for an inciting incident to happen before the play or movie begins?

Opening The Door To Change

And you’re absolutely right. It’s often the case in movies that inciting incidents happen before the movie starts. For example, in Thelma and Louise, the main characters have already decided to go on their road trip before the movie begins (though Thelma still hasn’t told her hubby).

What is the best example of an inciting incident?

For example, the moment Effie calls out Primrose Everdeen, Katniss chooses to volunteer. The choice she makes in that moment of The Hunger Games book was the inciting incident. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Hagrid showing up to tell Harry he’s a wizard is the inciting moment.

Can inciting incident be a flashback?

Only at a later point in the story does the reader discover what the inciting incident was. Of course, the flashback is not the only technique you can use to reveal the inciting incident. In a murder mystery, the detective might deduce what happened near the story’s crisis.

Is inciting incident the same as conflict?

Also often known as the catalyst, the inciting incident is crucial for a story arc. Not only does it propel the main character into the plot, but it also creates conflict, establishes a goal, and provides the trajectory for character growth.

What part of a plot starts off with an inciting incident?

Probably the most common understanding of the Inciting Event is that it’s the first moment in your plot. This is the beginning of your story–possibly even the first sentence. This opening scene will introduce your main character and the main conflict.

What term is also termed as inciting incident?

The inciting incident is an episode, plot point or event that hooks the reader into the story. This particular moment is when an event thrusts the protagonist into the main action of the story. Screenwriting guru Syd Field describes it as ‘setting the story in motion’.

Is inciting incident the same as climax?

Structurally speaking, the Inciting Event is what fully initiates the story’s conflict, while the Climactic Moment is what fully resolves it. As such, they frame and define the entire story.

Can there be multiple inciting incidents?

There are not two inciting incidents per story, not really, but there are two places in story that can be referred to as the inciting incident. And no matter which moment you refer to as the inciting incident, your novel requires both of these events.

What is the difference between inciting incident and rising action?

The inciting incident is an event that creates a problem or conflict for the characters and sets in motion a series of increasingly significant events that constitute the main events of the story. The inciting incident marks the end of the exposition and the beginning of the rising action.