The inciting event. What is that you may ask? Well, it is the event that kicks your main character out of his/her comfy lounge chair binge watching the Great British Baking Show. Who wouldn’t? It is also that time in our lives when we start to look around at our world and actually SEE where we are, kind of moment. Maybe it’s the moment when your MC starts to see evidence of their flaw or they see their external goal off in the distance. Once in a great moon, the inciting incident can be in the opening scene. That is not required. You can work your way to that event over the next few scenes. Ms. Hawker’s example is within Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The inciting event is when Harry receives his invitation to attend Hogwarts. This is an awakening to his destiny.
Gotta love Harry. Okay, heads up here. I will be covering 3-chapter heads (in total) in this post because they are very short. I just could not see doing a post of less than 200 words. Cool? Cool. Run along and get your copy of Take Off Your Pants! by Libbie Hawker. Don’t forget to fill your cuppa. My cuppa is filled with hot apple cider with cinnamon. This is in hopes it will help clear up the rest of this crud that has creeped into my bod. My bod is already a mess. I do not need any more.
What is your nibble of choice? Today I am tucking into a warm, homemade blueberry muffin. Mmmm… No, I didn’t buy it. YES, I CAN COOK. Geesh. Back to it.
So, I covered our 1st title in the beginning of this post, let’s move forward with:
Plot: Character Realizes External Goal
As I mentioned earlier, your MC can see their goal at the same point as the inciting event, but not always. You can wait a few scenes to draw out your story.
Plot: Display of Flaw
Your MC could have displayed their flaw as early as the inciting event or the opening scene. But, if you haven’t made it known yet, it is time. Your MC’s flaw will add tension to your storyline. If our readers know early on that our characters are flawed and in need of personal change, it is more likely to deliver a satisfying read and ending.
This is a great way to show your reader that your story is different than any
other read. But…nope. Readers think they want something awesomely new and unique but, in reality, readers are drawn to story patterns. If you are a fan of romance, true crime, or shifter books, you will find the same type of patterns in any other books you look for. We become comfortable within these patterns. Now, putting a spin on the same old plotline is a bonus to the old familiar patterns. It can be a surprise to our readers if we deviate from the standard flow of the story. We can take out a bit of the predictability.
I am aware this is a shorter post. As we move forward in our book of choice, if the chapters become short, I may double or triple them up to make your read worth it.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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