Monday, 11 April 2011

Inciting Incidents and Keswick

A new story demands thought about the Inciting Incident. A story can be divided into rough blocks, called The Inciting Incident, Progressive Complications, Crisis, Climax and Resolution. It’s good to remember that the Inciting Incident (II from now on) must be relevant to the character and directs what is about to happen to him/her. It should not be some dramatic event that is simply witnessed. (That may be where I made my mistake in a romance I’m struggling with now. Sigh.) The II should not happen in back story.

So – the II upsets the protagonist’s life, puts forces out of whack, and the protagonist must respond. Usually he focuses on doing something to bring the balance back to normal, or the way he wants it to be. This sets him off on a quest to gain what he wants against the forces of antagonism, which may be inner and personal or outer and extra-personal. Sometimes, he refuses to respond, and reacts by inaction, and that too causes or brings about reaction. In decided what to do (or not to do) the protagonist should reveal some long held dream or unconscious desire, and the reader should pick up on it. The Spine of the Story, the long arc that carries through the entire story, has its birth in the II. The Bond films were an example – the arch villain made a move that upset the status quo, and Bond’s focus was to defeat him. Until recently, Bond never had an unconscious desire, but with the Daniel Craig stories, he has, and that is to revenge Vesper’s death. Sometimes the unconscious desire becomes the story spine, or merges very closely with the major story, and then makes for a more complex hero and story arc.

We’ve had four days of glorious weather, and the pictures are from a trip to Keswick on Friday.

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