What are inciting incidents? Why do our stories and scenes need them? What are the elements of a solid inciting incident? This week, Story Grid Certified editor Leslie Watts discusses these story event catalysts in the context of the opening of Drew Horstman’s fantasy novel, Nicholas Crumb. The editorial mission encourages you to collect inciting incidents by reading and watching stories—and from your own life.
You’ve written lots of scenes for your work in progress, but how do you know whether they work? Does your scene satisfy basic story principles? In this episode, Leslie shows you how to analyze your scenes by looking at the opening of AW Moyer’s YA fantasy story, The Grim Book.
Alyssa & Leslie critique the opening of Mary Pat Lynch’s Feather the Painter, a fantasy novel. They discuss repetitive sentence structure, tension, sensory detail, dialect, and getting to know setting through your character’s point of view. For deeper exploration, check out the inline critique, below.
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Leslie & Alyssa critique the opening of Luke Kondor’s The Hipster Who Leapt Through Time, a science fiction/fantasy novel. They mention echoes and strengthening your verbs. They discuss how the author builds sympathy by getting in the moment, and they debate which tense might be the best choice for this piece.
Alyssa & Leslie critique the opening of Simon Cantan’s The Bite of Rust, a fantasy novel. They discuss unusual protagonists, characters’ emotional reactions, and effective hooks and world building.