How I Write – Judith Barrow

Crime Cymru

This week Judith Barrow gives us an insight into how she constructs her excellent storylines and the importance of having a key “inciting incident”

The Inciting Incident – a Must for Every Story

Every story needs an inciting incident; without that the narrative becomes fixed, without movement; it’s no longer a story, but just a series of events.

An inciting incident is an unexpected occurrence that upsets the balance of the plot, especially for the protagonist. It complicates the character, gives them a central motivation, and sets them on the path that they will follow throughout the story.

So it has to be a convincing inciting action, one that the reader will believe in, be drawn into right away. There are a couple of writing techniques that can ensure this:

It’s essential that it should drive the protagonist to think, to behave (whether intentionally or subconsciously), in a certain way…

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