Which part of my story is the inciting incident?

I know what the inciting incident is. But with my story, my protagonist’s life is completely stable until the death of her parents, which takes place six years before the rest of the story starts. Exactly six years later, my protagonist, being sad, leaves her younger sister alone in the early morning so she can escape the atmosphere. Her sister is attacked and the rest of the story starts. Which bit is the inciting incident? Because in Lockdown, a book I’ve recently read, he starts with an event later in the book, switches to something really early that is obviously a memory, and then continues with the action. Should I do a format like this? Thanks.

P.S. This is the book I’m talking about, BTW. It’s really good and I’ve met the author twice. He likes my story plot 😀

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lockdown-Escape-Furnace-Quality/dp/0312611935/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374479710&sr=1-1&keywords=lockdown+escape+from+furnace#reader_B002RNYGNU
Thanks, but her parents died in an accident.

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One Response to “Which part of my story is the inciting incident?”

  1. A. Thorne says:

    Clearly write out the overall story goal. The inciting incident is something that happens to the protagonist that prompts them to begin pursuing it–this usually happens within the first ten to twenty pages, i.e. You have established that Carissa’s parents died, she always wanted to know the reason why and she has been fighting depression for six years, withdrawn from the world until she receives a letter from an anonymous source stating that her parent’s car accident may not have been an accident. There is often a period of debate after the inciting incident because of the protagonist’s fatal flaw where they avoid actually going after the main story goal and try a series of alternate, but failed plans until the break into the second act where something happens to the protagonist that ultimately forces them to pursue the overall story goal. This is where the main dramatic question is asked, i.e. "Will Carissa find out who really killed her parents?"

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