How to keep things moving at breakneck speed

With “inciting incidents.”

As writers, we’ve all heard of the “inciting incident.” And that we need them to keep the story moving and the reader turning the pages. But, how many, where do you place them in a novel?

research 2

I’m in the beginning stage of fleshing out my patchwork outline for a new WIP, you know all that boring stuff. Like research.

In the midst of all this research, a really good post caught my eye. “Get Your Story off to the Right Start: The Inciting Incident,” by Bryan over at Become a Writer Today.

  • You need an Inciting Incident in the First Quarter of Your Story to avoid boring the reader. And we know what a boring reader does… stops reading.
  • Change Your character’s life. Better or Worse change the character is changed. They can never go back to the way things were because of this inciting incident.
  • Awaken a Hidden Desire in Your character. When writing the inciting incident of your story, find out what your character wants (or sub-consciously) and then use the incident to awaken a desire in them.
  • Work Backward from your climax, from your ending. From the moment of the inciting incident, everything should build towards the climax.

Click on the link above to read Bryan’s complete article.

My questions of the day!

Do you use more than one inciting incident?

Or is one big inciting incident enough?

Do share I’d love to hear from you!

Click to write me or contact me on Twitter @jeancogdell, Facebook at  jean.cogdell and, stop by and say hey! The lights are on and I’m waiting.

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3 thoughts on “How to keep things moving at breakneck speed

  1. I don’t use inciting incidents per se. My WiPs are, for the most part, mimicking real life. Nothing happens in real life the way it should. There’s always brick walls that need to be shattered or a work-around needs to be devised. I just need to decide what the obstacles are going to be and how my characters are going to get passed them. Yes, they are inciting incidents, and I do usually have several, if not many, in my stories. My gems would be quite dull without them.

    Liked by 1 person

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