Divergent

Inciting Event: Tris goes to discover her destiny within society, only to have her directions for which faction to join turn up “inconclusive.” She learns she’s divergent—belonging to not one, but three factions—but is warned not to speak of it, lest she be cast out. Up to this point in the story, her life is utterly ordinary, despite her worries and fears and desires about which faction she will join. This is where the main conflict first brushes her life, even though it doesn’t significantly change anything as yet.

First Plot Point: At the ceremony, Tris surprises everyone by choosing not to remain in her parents’ faction Abnegation. Instead, she goes to the warrior class Dauntless, to which she has always felt drawn. She leaves behind her family and her home and enters the new world of brutal Dauntless training—where she meets the handsome and mysterious instructor Four. This kicks off both her reactions to her relationship—and eventual romance—with him and her struggle to rank well enough amongst the new recruits to keep from being kicked out.

First Pinch Point: Tris loses an important fight to a fellow inductee and finds herself in real danger of being cut. She also bumps into Erudite leader Jeanine, the antagonist, who is up to something mysterious and sinister in Dauntless headquarters. Neither the turning point nor the pinch is particularly strong here.

Midpoint: After Tris proves herself in a decisive victory of Capture the Flag, she makes the cut and is graduated to Phase 2 of her training—where Four figures out she’s divergent. Tris’s mother sneaks in to warn her that something untoward is going on and that she can’t trust anyone with the secret of her divergence.

Second Pinch Point: Tris tries to find out what’s going on from her Erudite brother. He brushes her off, and she is cornered by Jeanine, who offers veiled threats about what would happen to Tris and her family should Tris stray from her proper place in society. On returning to the Dauntless base, Tris is attacked by fellow inductees, who are threatened by her higher ranking. She is saved by Four.

Third Plot Point: After graduation (false victory), the Dauntless soldiers are all injected with a mind serum that turns them into drones. Only divergents—including Tris and Four—are immune, but they play along to avoid being spotted. The soldiers are sent to round up and execute all the Abnegation citizens.

Climax: During the battle, Tris finds her mother, only to watch her be gunned down. She locates the rest of the Abnegation survivors and takes them back to Dauntless headquarters to challenge Jeanine.

Climactic Moment: Tris injects Jeanine with the mind serum and compels her to shut down the program and release the Dauntless soldiers from her mind control.

Resolution: Tris, Four, and the other surviving renegades board a train and flee past the fence.

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