First off, I want to thank Tina Price, Margarita Sweet, and all of the wonderful people who came to my Master Class at the Center Stage Gallery on the 8th and 9th. I’d also like to thank Scriptwriters Network’s Melessa Sargent, Erica Dozier, and all of the fantastic writers who joined me at CBS Radford Studios for my talk on Pitching. I hope you guys had as much fun as I did.
Not to gyp those people, but I made a discovery while I was putting together the slides for the Master Class that I’d like to share with everybody else. As you know, I’m all about the “5 Keystones”. The INC/INC, MP, EA2, SB and S! If you don’t know what those mean, click 5-Keystones and get up to speed.
Now, for years, whenever anybody asked me about Inciting Incidents (“INC/INCs“) the conversation would go something like this:
YOU: Hey Rob, I’m curious about these Inciting Incident thingies.
ME: Well, you’ve come to the right place. What do you need to know?
YOU: What are they? What do they do? And where do I find them?
ME: Okay, so everything.
YOU: Uh yes. But lunch is on me.
ME: Okay. Inciting Incidents are the incidents that incite your characters into the action of the movie. They take the characters from their happy inertia on page one and propel them to do the things that entertain us during the course of the movie. You can find them just about anywhere in the first 30 or so pages but, if you twisted my arm I’d say you should start your search somewhere around page 12 (or minute 12 if you’re watching a video).
Then I drop the mic and leave the stage. And thus, it has been since I started answering these questions. Why have I answered it this way? Mainly because it’s all I’ve ever read ever since I started reading about screenwriting and listening to scriptwriting gurus.
Have I always written Inciting Incidents like this? No!
In fact, let’s look at the INC/INC for THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG. Is it (A) when the Fenner brothers tell Tiana that they’re going to sell her restaurant to somebody else or is it (B) When Tiana kisses Naveen and turns into a frog?
Take a second and answer the question yourself before you continue reading.