Edward Scissorhands

Movie: Directed by Tim Burton. Hook: Edward lives alone in a mansion, where he has been ever since his creator, an inventor, died and left him “unfinished” with scissors in place of hands. Inciting Event: The nice Avon lady Peg discovers Edward in the mansion and invites him to live with her family. First Plot […]

guardians of the galaxy vol 2

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

Movie: Directed by James Gunn. Inciting Event: After Rocket steals the Sovereign people’s priceless batteries, the Guardians are saved by a mysterious man riding his own spaceship. This man (Ego) will drive the main conflict, ergo his appearance is the first brush with that conflict. Meanwhile, protagonist Peter Quill’s old boss Yondu (who has been […]

Thor Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok

Movie: Directed by Taika Waititi. Inciting Event: After defeating the demon Surtur—who was prophesied to destroy Asgard in the apocalyptic Ragnarok—Thor takes Surtur’s crown back to Asgard, only to discover his father Odin is missing and his supposedly dead brother Loki is reigning in his place in disguise. There’s a lot going on here, not […]

Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast

Movie: Directed by Steve Loter. Inciting Event: Going against her promise to be a “model citizen,” Fawn goes into a mysterious cave and sees an injured beast-like creature. As she attempts to take the thorn out of its paw, the creature blows her out of its cave by a loud roar, catching the attention of […]

fantastic beasts and where to find them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Movie: Directed by David Yates. Inciting Event: When Newt is arrested by disgraced investigative officer Tina, his magical case is accidentally exchanged for the case full of donuts, belonging to the “No-Mag” Jacob Kowalski. As a result, he is released by Graves and the head of MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States), who have […]

doctor strange

Doctor Strange

Movie: Directed by Scott Derrickson. Inciting Event: Brilliant neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange spectacularly crashes his sports car and mangles his hands, obliterating his ability to surgically operate. In many stories, the drama of such a moment (and the clear delineation of a “normal before” and an “adventurous after”) would be a fine First Plot Point. […]



Movie: Directed by Steven Spielberg. Inciting Event: After seeing the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) outside her window at the orphanage, Sophie is grabbed out of her bed and taken to “Giant Country,” because the BFG believes she will tell other humans about him. This movie… where to start? The structure is a mess from start […]

Treasure Planet

Treasure Planet

Movie: Directed by Ron Clements, Jon Musker. Inciting Event: After Billy Bones crash lands outside the Ben Bow Inn—owned by Jim Hawkins’s mother—pirates arrive. Billy gives Jim a strange golden sphere, then dies. The pirates burn down the inn, and Jim, his mother, and their friend Dr. Doppler escape. This is a delightful Inciting Event: […]

Rise of the Guardians

Rise of the Guardians

Movie: Directed by Peter Ramsey. Inciting Event: Nicholas St. North, the Guardian of Wonder, assembles the rest of the guardians to warn them of the possible rise of the Bogeyman, Pitch Black. Their leader, the spirit of the Man in the Moon, decides their only hope is the recruitment of winter spirit Jack Frost. First […]

Jungle Book Jon Favreau

The Jungle Book (2016)

Movie: Directed by Jon Favreau. Inciting Event: During the Water Truce at Peace Rock, Shere Khan the tiger warns the wolf pack that as soon as the truce is over he will be coming to kill their man-cub Mowgli and punish them. Mowgli then decides to spare everyone by leaving the jungle and allowing the […]