In my fantasy story, there is about 10,000 words before the inciting incident. I originally intended to land the end of my story at about 40,000 words. This is partially due to the fact that a lot of plot set up and weakness/need development happen in my story before the IncInc, but it also has to do with the fact that there is a rather long (Not unecisarrily boring) conversation scene, that builds in some of the necessary legends/story-world. My question is, do you think that this is common in fantasy stories, due to world building, do you think I definitely need to shorten the length before the IncInc, or do you think that my story is just going to end up being longer than I planned?

2 Answers 2


If you keep the reader engaged, and provide them enough interesting aspects of the story and a strong hook, then the II occurring at 10K probably won't be a problem.

One thing I would recommend, though, is allowing yourself the luxury of writing the story to the story's requirement, rather than a word count. If the movement of the story goes longer than 40K, let it. If it comes in shorter, you might have to look at where the II is, but again, if you have a strong hook to draw the reader in, you should be fine.

Hope that helps a little, and all success!

  • 1
    Thank you! The word count thing is a little more strict than usual, just because I am writing along with a group of others, and we are all trying to write our stories at the same pace. Jan 28, 2016 at 19:44
  • You're more than welcome, and above all, enjoy the process. :)
    – Josh
    Jan 28, 2016 at 20:48

I don't think it's necessarily what's common. It's more about what you want to do. As long as your bridging conflicts are engaging and your characters are given goals and pre-arcs, and are characterized in an engaging way during the setup, you should have no problem with this. I know that in Jaws (even though it isn't a fantasy), the author gives us the backstory dump on every single character, but he does it in such a way that helps us readers understand their motives. So while world building, you might want to characterize simultaneously. Good luck!

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