The inciting incident is one of the most important scenes in your novel. It’s the first major plot point and leads to all other plot points and conflict that make the story. Without this incident, there would be no story. The inciting incident is the event that changes everything for your protagonist and propels them into their new world. So let’s look at what the inciting incident is.
- The inciting incident occurs to the protagonist of the story.
- Your inciting incident must be tied to succeeding events and your climax.
- Without the inciting incident, the story would never happen.
- The inciting incident isn’t the same as the hook. The hook is what starts your novel and hooks your reader into the story. The inciting incident comes after.
- The inciting incident can be positive or negative for the protagonist. It usually creates a problem for the protagonist to solve, creating the conflict for the story.
- Connect your inciting incident with your protagonist’s story goal.
- The inciting incident isn’t just life changes, but leads to the rest of the story. It’s all connected.
- Make it compelling. It’s not the hook, but it should pull readers into your story.
- The inciting incident occurs sometimes in the first act. Twelve percent in if you follow the Hero’s Journey structure. If you think the inciting incident comes after the first act, you need to restructure your story and start it closer to the inciting incident so that it occurs in the first act.
The inciting incident is an important part of early story structure. It’s also a crucial part to your story since everything is derived from this event. Make sure it’s intriguing and well connected to the rest of your story.