Day 23 – The Inciting Incident

31 Days to Plan Your Novel

The Inciting Incident, also known as the Catalyst, is the first major turning point in a story. It is what takes the world before the story and turns it into the world after the story has begun, and it’s what gets your plot to move.

By now you should know the answer to these questions:

  • What does your protagonist want?
  • What will prevent them from getting it?

The inciting incident is usually what answers these questions, establishing the premise for your story. Let’s use The Hunger Games as an example – the Inciting Incident in this story is when Katniss is selected to participate in the Hunger Games for her district. This is, quite literally, a point of no return for this character. She can’t back out, and must go through the Games in order to get what she wants. The selection for the Games is the event that starts the whole story.

So, what is the event that starts your story?

31 Days to Plan Your Novel

Every October, hundreds of bloggers gather at The Nesting Place to write for 31 days straight on a variety of different topics, teaching and encouraging and offering tips and tricks to make life easier.


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