Movie: Directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush. Inciting Event: We actually have a quick succession of Inciting Events here, starting with Judy’s promotion to the Zootopia Police Department and her move from her parents’ carrot farm to the city, followed by her first brush with the main conflict of the disappearing predator cases. […]


Movie: Directed by Christopher Nolan Inciting Event: After arriving in Alaska, viewing the murder victim’s corpse, and making plans to confront her boyfriend at school the next day, the protagonist Will reacts angrily when his partner Hap tells him he’s going to make a plea-bargain with a hungry Internal Affairs officer back home. Will, a […]

Cloak and Dagger Gary Cooper

Cloak and Dagger

Inciting Event: Alvah the scientist agrees to help the OSS contact German defector Dr. Katerin Loder. He arrives in Switzerland on his secret mission. This is actually an example of an Inciting Event/Call to Adventure that the protagonist does not start out by rejecting. Alvah does voice some concerns initially, but really he jumps into […]

Song of the Thin Man Myrna Loy William Powell

Song of the Thin Man

Inciting Event: Band leader Tommy Drake is murdered. In a mystery, the (first) murder will almost always be the Inciting Event. Sometimes you’ll see it as the Hook (the very first event), but note how its placement here allows the story to set up its characters–both the protagonists and the players in the crime–in its […]

State of Play Russell Crowe Ben Affleck Helen Mirren Rachel McAdams Robin Wright Penn Jeff Daniels

State of Play (2009)

Inciting Event: Stephen asks Cal for help after his research assistant dies. First Plot Point: Cal realizes the murders he is investigating are linked to the death of Stephen’s aide. First Pinch Point: The surviving victim from the murders is killed in the hospital. Midpoint: Stephen agrees to cooperate with Cal’s story if Cal can […]

Another Thin Man

Another Thin Man

Inciting Event: Nick and Nora arrive at Col. McFay’s and discover someone is threatening him. First Plot Point: Church threatens Nick and his family. First Pinch Point: Col. McFay is murdered. Midpoint: McFay’s daughter’s fiancé tries to shoot Nick and is killed. Second Pinch Point: Church’s sidekick causes a fight at the West India Club. […]

After the Thin Man

After the Thin Man

Inciting Event: Nora’s cousin Selma calls to say she’s in terrible trouble. First Plot Point: Nick and Nora discover Selma’s missing husband at a Chinese nightclub. First Pinch Point: Selma’s husband is murdered. Midpoint: Selma admits to the police that she had followed her husband with a gun. Second Pinch Point: A rock is thrown […]

The Thin Man

Inciting Event: The father goes missing after promising to return for his daughter’s wedding. The daughter tries to convince retired detective Nick Charles to take the case. First Plot Point: The father’s secretary is murdered. First Pinch Point: The daughter confesses to the secretary’s murder in order to protect her father. Midpoint: After being attacked by an intruder in […]