Friday, May 14, 2010

Reactive inciting incident

As I was asked:

Reactive means passive or reacting to something else rather than seeking to change your life.

Inciting incident is the thing that starts the story.

In my current mess in progress, the heroine agrees to do something for her brother. Her sole reason for encountering the hero has to do with her brother. And she is on the back foot the entire time. She is constantly running to stay in place, rather than making changes. Given a choice, she chooses the wrong one. The brother dominates rather than complicates.

But it was really the reactive inciting incident that sets the tone of the story.
The heroine who is supposed to be bossy or as my daughter's mug used to say -- I am not bossy, I just have better ideas is never given a chance to show her better ideas.

Anyway, it is a massive revision job and involves a new beginning and ending with quite a bit of tweaking in the middle. I do think I have an idea on how to go about it though.

One of these bright days, I am going to produce something that really sings! (Of course then I will worry that I have gotten it totally wrong!)


Carol Townend said...

That was helpful, Michelle. Have just realised that my WIP which has been going slowly (no change there;) )is going slowly partly because I was ill but MOSTLY because my heroine was too reactive as well. It is not always easy to see these things when one is in the trhoes of writing though. Wish it was.

Caroline said...

Hi Michelle. This post struck a nerve lol! Is it so "wrong" to have your heroine have to something because her father/brother etc says she *has* to do it - which then propels her into the hero's arms/attention etc? I'm always conscious that historical heroines wouldn't have quite the "freedom" as women do today and would/could have been forced to do things. Could you elaborate some more? Caroline x