“After I heard about the concept of GMC, better known as Goal, Motivation & Conflict I started trying to outline my stories with those points in mind. After a while I realized having a standard chart would be really helpful.”
Goals are something everyone is familiar with. You want your characters to have goals and dreams, things they want to accomplish, both immediately and in the long term. Stories tend to be more interesting and have a better hook when your characters have a goal they’re working to accomplish over the course of the book.
Ex. Hero’s goal is to save the family ranch.
In The Italian Job, Charlie’s goal is to steal back the gold that Steve stole from the team, and additionally, avenge John’s death.
Motivation is what drives the characters. This can change over the course of the story. But whatever it is, it should remain strong. Read Miss Sniz’s article on GMC here.
Ex. The motivation in the Italian Job is that Steve killed John (Charlie’s mentor) and stole the gold. So Charlie, and the crew, want Steve to suffer as they did.
In the case of the farmer, his motivation is that he made a promise to his father that he would keep the ranch thriving and there’s no way he’ll be the first in a long line of men in his family to fail.
Finally, there’s conflict. No matter how much you might wish to ignore it, conflict makes stories interesting. It’s the reason people slow down when they see an accident, the reason soap operas are so popular, and the reason you can’t help listening in when you hear an arguement. There’s something edgy about conflict and as many a great authors have suggested, torture your characters. Give them a doozy of a conflict. Arsonist meets investigator. That’s a good one.
Don’t forget that there are internal and external conflicts. This chart provides space for both.
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