Goal, Motivation, and Conflict

Recently I brainstormed a new novel specifically using GMC (goal, motivation, and conflict). I won’t go over GMC here because Debra Dixon’s GMC book is simply perfect. I will clarify a few key points though that helped when I plotted my latest novel:

Goal: should be very obvious to the reader

Motivation: must be larger than life

Conflict: what keeps her from reaching her goal?

Keep in mind that the GOAL is the vehicle that keeps your story moving forward.

When you are done with the GMC charts, you can write the external and internal GMC in a sentence.

The format of the sentence: My hero WANTS [insert goal here] BECAUSE [insert motivation here] BUT [insert conflict here]. That sentence should sustain your entire novel, or at least from one related turning point to the next. For example:

My heroine WANTS her ex-fiance back BECAUSE he made a mistake dumping her, he was too stressed out in his job back then to make a valid life decision BUT it turns out that ex-fiance is already engaged to someone else, clearly he has moved on.

Remember that a characters GMC can change throughout the course of the book as long as you don’t change their GMC because the goal was too easy to accomplish 🙂 In the above example, Kimber WANTS to get her ex-fiance back, but she discovers that he is already engaged to someone else! Instead of forcing the issue and having her try to get this guy back for the whole book, wouldn’t she look a bit desperate?, I changed her external GMC after the first turning point.

After crafting my turning points, I am off to plot my new novel on a foam board 🙂 Please let me know in the comments section if this explanation clarified GMC for you!


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