Almost every writing “rule” can be broken. I offer three meta-principles for why that is and some thoughts on how we should approach the rules if they can be broken.
The inciting incident is often misunderstood. Even seasoned writers sometimes make claims that there can be multiple inciting incidents or that it can occur before the story even begins. But I would argue that most of those claims are rooted in a misunderstanding of the role the inciting incident plays within a story.