Confusion regarding a scene, as to whether it is The Inciting Incident or Rising Action or in between

by Cassandra


I have a main character, who along with some other characters, do not know who they are. The story takes place in a fictional city in the future (Science Fiction). I need the characters to get along, before making them figure out who they are, since two of them are on different sides in the "war", which is a struggle between the leader of the city and the rebels.

The real conflict starts when the characters realise this, and the main character has to figure out, which side he stands on, because he has seen all the "dark" parts of the city, which he didn't see before because of his position in society. So I don't want the "amnesia" part to be too long, but I need them to bond enough, so that they may not turn on each other later.

Will the realisation of their true selves be the rising action? Because I feel that it is too far into the book, and I want them to figure it out sooner, but not too soon. It is almost as if this scene is between The Inciting Incident and the Rising Action. How do I structure my story, so that these sequences do not fail?

This is not the first question, I have asked you. The question was a character question:
I need the protagonist to be able to reach out to the main character, which means I need them to be friends. How to do this, without stretching the story?

Answer: I have to infer a little regarding your story, because I don't know everything you have in mind.

The inciting incident, or first driver, is the event "without which the rest of the story would not happen." In this case, I suspect it is whatever external force causes these people's amnesia and then puts them together.

Generally, there are four other drivers or turning points - one at the beginning and end of each act in a four-act structure. (The final driver being the ultimate resolution.)

What I suspect is going on is that Act 1 of your story concerns how the characters cope with their amnesiac state, and how they form relationships. The recovery of their memories may be the second driver, marking the transition from Act 1 to Act 2.

Act 2 is the complication stage, and I suspect the characters will certainly find themselves in a more problematic situation as a result.

The 3rd driver, at the transition to Act 3 is the point of no return beginning the march to the climax (4th driver).

"Rising action" usually describes the combination of acts 2 and 3 in a 4-act structure (or act 2 in a 3-act structure).

Hope that helps.

Comments for Confusion regarding a scene, as to whether it is The Inciting Incident or Rising Action or in between

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Sep 18, 2013
by: Anonymous

Thanks Glen, It helped a lot :)

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