Kiki’s Delivery Service

Inciting Event: After leaving home to begin her training, Kiki falls asleep in a train that takes her to the city. I would argue that the true Inciting Event is Kiki’s departure from home, even though it happens so early in the act. But we still get a definite, if subtle, turning point right here.

First Plot Point: Kiki makes her first delivery for the baker’s wife–and enters her new world as a delivery girl, using her “only” talent of flying to begin her training.

First Pinch Point: On her first official delivery, Kiki runs afoul of a gust of wind and loses the stuffed cat toy she was supposed to be delivering to her customer’s nephew. In order preserve her reputation as a delivery girl, she gets her black cat Jiji to pretend to be stuffed, while she goes back to look for the toy–which she finds at the home of the painter Ursula.

Midpoint: There isn’t a greatly defined Midpoint here. It’s more just a sense that, having fulfilled her first delivery, Kiki has established herself as a delivery girl. She also receives an invitation to a party from the boy Tombo, which shouldn’t rightly be the Midpoint in the main conflict, since her relationship with him is not the main conflict.

Second Pinch Point: Kiki misses Tombo’s party after getting caught in the rain. She gets sick afterwards. This primarily pinches her relationship with Tombo, which, again, isn’t the main conflict.

Third Plot Point: Kiki loses her ability to fly and to converse with Jiji. This, again, introduces a basically new aspect of the conflict. The story starts out being about Kiki’s delivery service, then segues into her relationship with Tombo, then, in the Third Act, turns about again, and decides it wants to be about her sudden lack of confidence in her abilities.

Climax: The dirigible from the airshow malfunctions, hauling Tombo into the air. Kiki struggles to regain her ability to fly so she can rescue him.

Here, all three elements of the story come together beautifully. Unfortunately, they weren’t all weaved into the story equally well over the duration.

Climactic Moment: Kiki saves Tombo.

Resolution: Kiki becomes friends with Tombo and his gang, and they build an airplane.

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