Let’s talk about inciting incidents! Revising one of my old manuscripts, I realized it was missing something. It’s a manuscript written years before I learned the important details of writing a good book. Why does that matter? It was missing a strong inciting incident. This scene forces the protagonist on a new path and gives the reader something to anticipate. It hooks the reader for the first time!
What Can We Learn From Roswell?
Roswell is a hit show that lasted three seasons and has recently been remade. I love Roswell and have always been a fan. As a writer, I learn from watching and reading. So, what can we learn from Roswell? It has an explosive inciting incident that immediately pulls viewers in.
During the first episode, Liz Parker, a small town, straight A student is innocently shot while working at her parent’s diner. She begins bleeding and losing consciousness. Max Evans, a quiet character who happens to be an alien with a long-time crush on Liz Parker, rushes over to her. He sees Liz dying, and there’s not enough time to take her to a hospital. What does Max do? He places his hand on her stomach (or chest, depending on which series you watch) and uses his powers to heal her. He saves her life!
Bond Between Characters
Whoa! That is an inciting incident! What makes it more intriguing? Nobody in town knows he’s an alien. He’s lived his entire existence hiding who he was for fear of being experimented on. Which means when he healed Liz, he not only risked exposing himself, but Liz was instantly pulled into protecting his secret the rest of the series, thus building a strong bond between the two characters.
If there’s anything we can learn from this observation, it’s that an inciting incident introduces the main plot and raises the stakes.
If you’re a fan of Roswell, click here to see where the cast is now.
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