Sunday, April 14, 2013

GMC for writers

Every good book needs a GMC. Goal, Motivation, Conflict. Every main character in the story should have this and this is what frames your book. Progressing toward the goal is what keeps your story moving and your audience reading.

Goal: What do they want? Typically a Happily Ever After
Motivation: Why do they want it?
Conflict: What is preventing them from having it?

The conflict needs to be strong enough that the reader is worried they won’t get an HEA and keeps reading. It should NOT be something that could be sorted out with a decent conversation between a couple of the characters. The solution also should NOT be something so unbelievable that the reader feels cheated. Obviously, the longer the book, the more intricate the plot. No one expects anything too earth-shattering in 10,000 words. But there always must be a conflict of some kind that the reader can see the characters working to overcome.

Ideally conflict is both internal and external and there can be tension between solving them. That is, to solve one conflict will make the other one worse.
The heroine is very poor and struggling to survive.
She wins the lottery.
But now the hero is afraid to marry her because he can’t offer the kinds of things her rich new friends can.

Begin your book knowing each character’s GMC. Keep referring back to them as you write so the story doesn’t wander off track. Make sure all is logical when you finish.

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.

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