Inciting Incident, Crisis, Climax, and Resolution

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Inciting Incident, Crisis, Climax, and Resolution

The Inciting Incident is that event which disturbs the hero's life-as-he-knew-it and "incites" him to take action. It happens early in Act I, usually somewhere in the first 10 pages. In Kramer vs. Kramer (novel by Avery Corman, script by Robert Benton) it's when Joanna walks out and leaves Ted to parent his son alone.

The Crisis is that moment when all seems lost. Nothing the hero has been doing has worked, and he's further from his goal than ever. This is the point where the hero has to regroup and rethink. Only if he digs deep and taps his inner resources will he find a strategy that works. In Kramer vs. Kramer, when Ted learns he lost custody, he must choose between appealing, which would mean putting his son on the stand, or accepting the decision, which would protect Billy. He chooses to give up custody and protect Billy, and now must come to terms with the consequences.

The Climax is the final showdown between the protagonist and the antagonist. This is the scene the audience has been waiting for, the moment that answers the story's biggest question. Will good triumph over evil? Will the boy get the girl? In Kramer vs. Kramer, the climax happens when Joanna realizes that Ted is a better father than she is a mother because he's willing to act in Billy's best interest, and she lets him have the boy.

The Resolution is where all the loose ends are tied up. Often, we are left with a slight hint of the future. In Kramer vs. Kramer, the resolution is simple and quick: Joanna asks to be allowed to visit Billy, and then she and Ted go upstairs to talk to him. The audience is left believing that somehow, this family will find a balance that works for them.



1/25/2012 12:55:53 PM
ashley peterson said:

its great


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