I’ve really enjoyed the talks in our “Craft of Writing” posts, so I wanted to toss out another one. It is short because I’m on my phone waiting for a client to show up.
I think we all know that the inciting incident is the event that changes the status quo for your protagonist, setting the plot into motion. But I also think it’s important that we are intentional about where we placed the inciting incident. Did we put in the first scene, or even the first page, or did we allow more breathing room to show the reader the status quo before tossing it in? Or did we choose to have the inciting incident take place “offpage,” before the start of the actual story?
1) So…What is your story’s inciting incident?
2) How far into the story does your inciting incident take place? Why did you choose that spot?
CCH1’s inciting incident occurs in Issue 1 when the Contrarian/Manipulator bombs Burgerz N’ Ringz. It sets into motion the main plot; namely that a new villain, seemingly drawn to Speck by the new hero-training program at the community college, has decided to cause chaos in the city until her demands are met.
It happens very early in the story. The MC is still walking to campus on Orientation Day when the MC hears the explosion. Looking back, I could have waited longer to put it in, and maybe it would have been more effective to let the students get somewhat comfortable at the school and then…BANG!..have the Contrarian show up. But I chose to add the extra level of tension among the inexperienced students from the very beginning.