Farmer's Daughter Joseph Cotten Ethel Barrymore Loretta Young

The Farmer’s Daughter (1947)

Inciting Event: After losing her nursing-school tuition to the slimy painter Adolph, Katie applies for a job as a maid at Congressman Morley’s house. This story is fundamentally a romantic comedy, but it also keeps its plot-line very tight with its political through-line subplot. Although quite a bit has happened already to Katie in order […]

I Love You Again WS Van Dyke William Powell Myrna Loy

I Love You Again

Inciting Event: After being knocked out and recovering from his seven-year amnesia in the Hook at the beginning of the story, George arrives back in America and is met by Kay, the wife he doesn’t remember. The opening of this movie is a little shaky. It begins with what would have been a better Inciting […]

It Happened One Night Clark Gable Claudette Colbert Frank Capra

It Happened One Night

Inciting Event: Down-on-his-luck newspaperman Peter Warne figures out that his bus-riding partner is the runaway heiress Ellie Andrews. Quite a bit has happened up to this point: Ellie has run away from her father, Ellie and Peter have met, and Ellie has had her suitcase stolen and has missed the bus. But this is the Inciting […]

Ghost Patrick Swayze Demi Moore


Inciting Event: Sam is murdered and becomes a ghost. This effectively destroys his initial Normal World, but it’s not the First Plot Point for a couple of reasons (other than timing). The first is that the adventure world of the main story still has to be introduced (that “world” being an existence in which Sam […]

Prince and Me Julia Stiles James Mably

The Prince and Me

Inciting Event: The irresponsible Prince Edvard of Denmark decides to attend college in Wisconsin in order to meet American girls. First Plot Point: Eddie is assigned as the responsible and goal-oriented Paige’s lab partner, much to her chagrin. First Pinch Point: Back home in Denmark, Eddie’s father gets a grim diagnosis from the doctor. Midpoint: […]

Lake House Keanu Reeves Sandra Bullock

The Lake House

Inciting Event: Kate (in 2008) receives Alex’s first letter from 2006. First Plot Point: Alex and Kate figure out that the lake house mailbox is a portal between their times, and they begin a correspondence. First Pinch Point: Alex sees Kate with her boyfriend in 2006. He chases her train but can’t reach her. Midpoint: […]

Ghost and Mrs Muir Gene Tierney Rex Harrison

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Inciting Event: Lucy discovers Gull Cottage is haunted by the sea captain Daniel Gregg, but decides to rent it anyway. First Plot Point: Captain Gregg reveals himself to Lucy and agrees to let her stay in his house. First Pinch Point: Lucy’s pushy in-laws arrive to tell her that she’s lost her source of income […]



Inciting Event: Anya leaves the orphanage. First Plot Point: Anya meets Dimitri and goes with him to Paris to discover if she’s the Grand Duchess Anastasia. First Pinch Point: Rasputin sends his minions to crash the train on which Anya is traveling. Midpoint: Anya discovers she has to lie to the Dowager Empress’s cousin convince […]