New DIY MFA Post on Inciting Incidents, Plus A New Worksheet + Storytelling Superpowers


An inciting incident has a crucial and unique responsibility in novel-writing. Sure, it’s the first major plot point in a story – but it also launches the protagonist into the main conflict and sparks the beginning of his character arc. And as we discover in today’s Developing Themes In Your Stories post at DIY MFA, it’s also one of the first scenes in the story where literary themes can bloom.

How does an inciting incident accomplish this? Click here to read “Developing Themes In Your Stories – Part 6: The Inciting Incident” and find out!

New Worksheet on Inciting Incident Themes

Yup – it’s worksheet time again! The Inciting Incident Themes Worksheet features all three activities discussed in the new DIY MFA post, and is available for you to download, print, and use at home (or wherever you write or brainstorm best) to determine how your story’s inciting incident can demonstrate literary themes.

Click here to visit Worksheets for Writers and download a PDF copy of the Inciting Incident Themes Worksheet.


DIY MFA Wants to Know… What’s Your Storytelling Superpower?

In conjunction with this summer’s DIY MFA book release (yes, our founder Gabriela Pereira is publishing a book!), DIY MFA has launched a special quiz called “What’s Your Storytelling Superpower?” The results offer insight into what kinds of stories and characters you’ll excel at writing. If you have a couple minutes, give this quiz a try and see if you’re a Disruptor, Protector (like me!), Survivor, or Underdog.

Click here to take the Storytelling Superpower Quiz at DIY MFA. And feel free to share your results on social media and comment here when you’re done! I’d love to know what you got. 🙂

10 thoughts on “New DIY MFA Post on Inciting Incidents, Plus A New Worksheet + Storytelling Superpowers

  1. I got the “Protector” result from the quiz…which is usually about right for my writing, though my current WIP is more of an Underdog/Survivor thing.

    Once I have more time (and after I *finally* watch “The Martian”), I need to read that “Inciting Incident” post closely. My new WIP has two concurrent plots — the narrator is the “gay best friend” in a cheesy romantic comedy (not that he knows that) — so there’s the movie plot going on along the side during his more serious plot revolving around whether or not he’s going to come out to and confess to the man he loves. I know what the inciting incident is for the movie plot, but I’m not quite sure about the actual plot. It’s so much more low key than what I usually write (or read) that it’s hard to know quite what to do to break him out of his fear of the results of the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nice! I don’t think it’s a bad idea to try different “superpowers” now and then. It gives us a chance to stretch our creative muscles, rather than doing the same thing over and over again (even if it’s what we’re good at).

      You don’t need to read or watch The Martian before you read the post. 😉 I was only using it as an example for inciting incidents.

      You might also benefit from the Trigger / Inciting Incident post I did last year for the Character Evolution Files. That one goes over the mechanics of the event, while the DIY MFA post explores it from a thematic standpoint. And based on what you’ve said is your struggle with the inciting incident in your WIP, you’ll definitely benefit from either post (or both).


  2. I got the Protector as well on the quiz. 🙂 Not surprising. It fit what I write quite well.

    The worksheet looks like it could be quite useful to go through for my current WIP. Thanks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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