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In your workbook, write a brief one-paragraph summary of your story’s inciting incident (a.k.a. the opportunity for romance), clarifying whether the characters know each other as the story begins. Will the inciting incident be the meet cute? Or if the characters have an existing relationship, how will the incident change it? 

Outline in your workbook how the scene meets the five essential components of an inciting incident.

  • Unexpected: In what way does the inciting incident surprise the protagonist? What were they expecting would happen in the moments leading up to the incident?
  • Interruption: What is the protagonist’s status quo? And in what way does the inciting incident interrupt it? 
  • Early: What does the reader need to know about the protagonist for this event to have an impact on the reader?
  • Life-changing: What stakes are involved for the protagonist? In what way does the event have the potential to change the character’s life?
  • Urgent: What urgency surrounds the event? Will the event introduce a ticking clock to the story?