Tag Archives: story

How to Spark Your Story With an Inciting Incident

First Edition Design Publishing - a hybrid publisher

If you are planning on writing a story, there is something you need to consider besides basic plot structure. You need to determine your Inciting Incident.

What incident will compel your protagonist to act?

What Is an Inciting Incident?

I am reading The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne and Story by Robert McGee to learn how to write a compelling story. Both Coyne and McGee emphasize the importance of writing a compelling inciting incident.

To incite means to stir, encourage, or urge on; to stimulate or prompt to action.

An inciting incident, then, is an event that forces your protagonist to act, compelling them to stop sitting around and do something.

Shawn Coyne has this to say about inciting incidents:

No matter the unit of story (beat, scene, sequence, act, or global Story) what the inciting incident must do is upset the life balance of your lead protagonist/s. It must make them…

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This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare

thenovelgirlreads

This is just my face coverAuthor: Gabourey Sidibe

Genre: Memoir

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Pages: 256

 

Gabourey Sidibe got her big break starring in the title role as Precious in the film Precious, based on the novel Push by Sapphire. Since then, she has gone on to several other roles on television shows such as American Horror Story, and most recently, Empire. She certainly didn’t start out as a star, though. Gabby, as she is known to her fans, came from humble beginnings in Brooklyn. The daughter of a polygamous, African immigrant father and a mother who began as a teacher (and then went on to support her children by becoming a subway singer), Gabby sis not exactly have it easy growing up. Once on her own, it was not exactly any easier. Case in point: When she was discovered, Gabby was working at a phone sex talking company.

This memoir…

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The Most Important Rule of Writing No One Talks About 

Christopher Kokoski



If you could only teach ONEwriting lesson for the rest of your life, what would you teach?

My answer: Contrast.

Why?

5SuspicouslySpecific Reasons Contrast Is the Most Important Rule of Writing

  1. Contrast is the key to a high-concept premise
  2. Contrast improves nearly every element of story
  3. Contrast is compelling to readers
  4. Contrast is inherent in the understanding of story
  5. Contrast works at both the micro and macro level of story

By definition, contrast combines opposites.

“cold fire”

“wet sand”

“beautiful atrocity”

It’s intriguing because it’s unexpected. It grabs attention, generates curiosity and keeps readers glued to the page. If you want to design a bestseller idea, use contrast. If you want to improve a sentence, paragraph, description, character or scene – contrast every time.

After all, most stories involve contrast on a macro level. Cinderella is both peasant and princess. Alice travels to Wonderland. The lesson of the…

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The Gifts of Writing a Memoir

Untangled

If you have an itch or a yearning to write your memoir, I encourage you to go for it. Even if you are the only one who reads it, writing your story can bring unimaginable gifts.

Fifteen months ago, I anxiously waited for my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph to go live on Amazon. What a wonderful, unexpected and humbling time it has been.

I took a huge risk by writing and publishing my memoir. My entire life was focused on keeping quiet, not telling, protecting those I loved, or who loved me. It took me a long time to understand that by keeping quiet, I was actually protecting the people who hurt me in my life. Writing Untangled was a way to announce in a really big way, that I will not keep quiet any longer.

I literally went from telling no one but my therapist…

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