Inciting Incident: How to Begin Your Screenplay and Engage Audiences Right Away (Scribe Meets World Screenwriting Series)

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Are You Struggling to Get Your Story Started?
Do you want to know how to capture a reader's interest within the first 10 pages of your script? In JERRY MAGUIRE, Renée Zellweger famously said, "You had me at 'hello.'" Great scripts (and novels*) do the same. They grip audiences from the very beginning. With the help of the inciting incident, your story can too.

Write a Gripping Story No Reader Can Put Down
If you understand the inciting incident–what it is, why it works, and when it happens–you'll be much closer to writing a gripping script that no reader will be able to put down. It's your secret weapon against the worst writing sin: boring your readers. But the inciting incident can be intimidating. When you're studying successful movies, you may find three (or more scenes) which seem like viable candidates. Sometimes, the inciting incident won't even be shown on-screen! And even if you figure that all out…how do you translate that knowledge and improve your own script?

What You'll Learn about the Inciting Incident
As the saying goes, "you fear what you don't understand." Well, fellow scribe, fear no longer. After you read this clear, comprehensive, fluff-free guide, the inciting incident won't be able to intimidate you anymore. It can’t, not when you’ll know everything about it, including:
the 4 key characteristics of the inciting incidenttips for presenting your hero's “everyday” worldwhen the inciting incident occurs and when it's a wise strategy to keep it off-screenthe connection between the inciting incident and the end of Act Onehow MINORITY REPORT got away with such a delayed inciting incidentthe secret ingredient which made Liam Neeson so appealing in TAKEN and Ryan Reynolds so attractive in THE PROPOSAL (it's not what you think)what conducive conditions are and how to distinguish them from the inciting incidentthe pitfalls of beginning your screenplay with extended prologuestrategies for writing your first 10 pages4 methods to handle the screenplay sequence after the inciting incidenthow the inciting incident can help you edit your scriptthe relationship between the inciting incident and genre3 alternative approaches to the standard action movie inciting incidenthow to choose the best inciting incident if you've come up with multiple options

Like Examples? Me Too!
I’m a big fan of learning by example. So I use plenty of them to illustrate my points. But sometimes examples just aren’t enough. That’s why I’ve also included 10 detailed case studies which should help you put together all the writing secrets you'll learn from this book.

All blockbuster films, the case studies include THE HUNGER GAMES, AIR FORCE ONE, A FEW GOOD MEN, MONSTERS INC., BRAVEHEART, and IT'S COMPLICATED.

Get an Edge Over the Competition
Make your script more engaging. Make your script more saleable.

Scroll up, click the buy button, and get started on vitalizing your screenplay today!

*While all the examples come from movies, this guide can help novelists who are struggling to get their story started.

Product Details

  • File Size: 310 KB
  • Print Length: 81 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: November 24, 2013
  • Sold by:  Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D9UQUXO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Not Enabled
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Customer Reviews

Very Useful for Me

7 people found this helpful.
 on October 11, 2013
By Nancy S. Drew
As the title indicates, the focus is on structure, primarily the inciting incident for the main plot of a screenplay. Or in my case, story. While I know WHAT an inciting incident is, what it does, what its purpose serves, I wanted examples. The author gives those a’plenty, and goes into detail as to why the writer might have chosen this incident, and even what could’ve happened in a couple of cases, if the writer had chosen another. The book goes into detail though about how an inciting incident can be constructed, what to look for, and why. I found I learned a great deal more from the book than I expected. This included a Chapter on What Happens after the Inciting Incident. I enjoyed the writer’s voice; it came across professional, but still candidly as though reading an extended blog article.I thought it was a little short for the price, but then again, I did get a lot more out of it than I had hoped. Nothing really bad to say about it, then!

Very well done – packs a punch!

7 people found this helpful.
 on August 28, 2013
By Jason
This is a very useful short book that was exactly what I needed as a new screenwriter. H.R. D’Costa goes beyond explaining the importance of the inciting incident as an antidote to reader boredom and continues into what should happen throughout the rest of Act I and beyond. I really like how it is explained that the moments right after the incident inform the other acts, particularly act III. It also fits well with the other theory I’ve read from popular story structure authors. This was well worth $4 – priced right to be sure. Glad I found it!

Covered my biggest worries!

 on June 10, 2017
By Anonymous84
I’ve been reading one writing blog after another, searching for advice to help alleviate some of the issues I’ve been having. Normally I have to pick out what useful tidbits I can and figure out practical ways to use it, but this guide doesn’t make me do that. It lists a huge variety of potential issues, things I’ve had problems with but never seen anyone address directly, and describes in depth several ways to fix the problem—with examples.

Helped me Refocus

 on March 15, 2016
By Allen G. Bagby
This book helped me refocus. After a blistering write-through of the first draft of the second book of my saga, Creed of Kings, I didn’t feel the ending was escalating the way I wanted. Story Climax helped me come up with lots of ideas on how fortify Act III. Now back to the drawing board. Looking forward to rewrite.

Worthwhile purchase

 on August 22, 2016
By Kevin Furlin
Another helpful book by H.R. D’Costa. The author does a fine job of defining what the Inciting Incident is and gives plenty of examples taken from popular movies. I learned more than I thought I would from this concise but well-written book. I recommend it for anyone who wants a better grasp of story construction.

Creating Exciting Incitings

 on February 9, 2016
By John Wasley
I found the detail in this book highly valuable in helping me to smarten up the beginning chapters of my WIP novel. While it is aimed at screenwriting, there is much to be learned from the ideas outlined that are very applicable to novel writing. Thanks H.R. for a great path to help uplift a book from the first few scenes.

Five Stars

 on August 20, 2017
By Blondie
good information

Added to my keeper shelf

 on August 18, 2015
By Haxxan Dreams
I bought the other guides by H.R. D’Costa and found them helpful, so I bought this book to round out the set. I thought I was already clear on the inciting incident of a novel and how to create one, but the author really peels back the layers to show why they work. A fantastic guide with plenty of examples.

Brilliant author with so much to offer…..don’t miss out on this read!

2 people found this helpful.
 on September 19, 2013
By Janice Cook
H.R. D’Costa has crafted a work of art in this book. If you want to produce a screenplay with that something special, you’ll want this inspiring work. I have been fortunate enough to take an in-person class with the author, and it was AMAZING!! I hope there’s another book waiting in the wings! Enjoy!

Fascinating reading!!!!

 on December 10, 2014
By Karam Ezzideen
Whilst a short ebook to read, nonetheless it is fascinating to learn about inciting incident in such ways I never realized before. If you are ever stuck with your screenplay or novel in terms of how to structure the opening, remember this, please read H.R. D’ Costa and you are sure to grip audiences or readers from the get go.

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