(Module 2) The Inciting Incident: Why it Matters


“The inciting incident is how you get (characters) to do something. It’s the doorway through which they can’t return, you know. The story takes care of the rest.”

― Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life

Many times when we read stories, watch TV shows or films, we really don’t consider what launches the story into action. We just hang on for the ride, and engage with the journey. But the adventure, the conflict, the story itself would never occur without something pushing our characters out of their ordinary world into something more challenging, different (internally or externally). That “something” is called the Inciting incident.

The following article by James R. Hull for Narratives First offers a great snapshot of Inciting Incidents in film and in literature. You will need to have an understanding of the inciting incident and be able to apply it to films you evaluate this semester as well as your semester project.

Read this article: https://narrativefirst.com/articles/plot-points-and-the-inciting-incident

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