Guide to Literary Terms

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I am temporarily baffled. What is an initiating event?

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Christopher Jerde eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The initiating event (sometimes called the inciting event) of a story is the event which sets the plot/central conflict in motion. It is not necessarily the point where the protagonist is drawn into the narrative, though it can be. This event can be shown in the story proper, or it may have happened before the story's opening scene. Regardless, it is the event which triggers the conflict of the narrative.

Examples:

In Star Wars , the initiating event is Princess Leia giving the Death Star plans to R2D2 for safekeeping before she is captured by Darth Vader. This event starts the actual plot of the movie: the plans need to be delivered back to the...

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chloes123 | Student

the initiating event is an action or action that lead to the climax

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