Clare K. R. Miller said...
I mean, I'm still not sure what the call to action is, but at least I know it's not the same thing that seems like it should be as early in the story as possible. I wouldn't mind some examples of calls to action, if you have them on hand...
Call to action: Best friend wants to try out but is nervous so begs Callie to come along.
Inciting incident: The doctor points out that the triglycerides are way up.
Call to action: Mike goes the gym and passes the free-weight room, noticing how buff all the weightlifters are... and then catches sight of himself in the mirror... not buff.
Inciting incident: As predicted by the polls, Sarah wins the mayoral election.
Call to action: Her first day on the job, the city comptroller confesses that the city is broke and won't make the next payroll unless Sarah finds $30K quick.
So.... The call to action is what specifically provides the incentive for the protagonist to start acting, going to the draft examination, taking a mortgage on her house to pay the city payroll, enrolling in a weight-training class, trying out for a part in the play, whatever the character must do to get into there and start engaging the conflict and moving the plot. In the original post, I suggest that this be a new action, something he/she hasn't done before-- this isn't just another dead body, not just another day at the office.