What happens in a movie that forces the hero to act? Something has to happen to disturb his daily life routine. What can happen that will make the hero go out his way to change his/her ways? “This event called the inciting incident, and it normally occurs between ten and fifteen pages into your screenplay.”

Let’s say your hero is happy going to breakfast at IHOP every Saturday, or gets a disturbing phone call from his boss, or sees a girl he is attracted to. What does he have to do now to react to the action now?

Any of these events is definitely going to get your hero out of the daily routine. It has to make him react. He has to stop going to IHOP, maybe has to find a new job now or work harder at his goal. Maybe learn how to approach this new girl he sees.

We usually open movies with the hero daily life so the audience can learn about character. Then we drop the bomb and then the character has to change his routine. There has to be no way the character can go on doing his daily routine. What kind of life does your inciting incident interrupt? Your character profile can help you figure this out.

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