How to Find the Inciting Incident

Q: I'm trying to come up with the inciting incident in my story. Does anyone know how to use Dramatica for this purpose. which terms in the storyform have a relation to the inciting incident (even if Dramatica don't use the term inciting incident) I already have a storyform I'm sure of and I also have a lot of material filled in.
A: The inciting incident, the event that kicks off the story, so to speak, is tied to the Story Driver in Dramatica. The Story Driver principally describes how things work in the Overall Story throughline -- the "Big Picture" or what is typically thought of as the plot part of the story. The Story Driver asks whether Actions drive Decisions, or Decisions drive Actions. The Story Driver lets you set up, or identify, what drives the story: Actions or Decisions? The Story Driver is a plot dynamic. It establishes the causality in the story's world, and answers the question about "which came first...?" It is also consistent throughout the story, from beginning to end. The Story Driver has five (5) primary instances in a story.
  1. The Inciting Incident (or Inciting Event in Dramatica terms)
  2. Act I to Act II turn
  3. Act II to Act III turn (or the midpoint of Act II in traditional three-act structure)
  4. Act III to Act IV turn (or the Act II to Act III in traditional three-act structure)
  5. Closing Event (the event that wraps up the Climax)
If you have an Action driven story, all five instances of the Story Driver are actions that turn the story in new and different directions. The actions force decisions to be made in the story. (For example, Driver Event 1/ the Inciting event in the film, "Jaws," is the first shark attack. No initial shark attack--no story. Driver Events 2 & 3 are the Act turns caused by the two other major shark attacks, and Driver Event 4 is the point where the shark begins attacking the boat. Driver Event 5 is the Closing event where the shark is blown up.) If you have a Decision driven story, all five instances of the Story Driver are decisions (or deliberations) that turn the story in new and different directions. The decisions force actions to be taken in the story. In The Godfather, for example, Don Corleone's decision to stay out of the drug trade causes the other mafia bosses to attempt to assassinate him, etc. Without that decision, the assassination attempt would not have been made.

Dramatica Story Expert

the next chapter in story development

Buy Now