Last week, we started our GMC game. Thanks to all of those who participated. If you missed it, here’s the link. Everyone did a great job with their GMCs. Here’s my favorite: (Thanks Gwen.)
Goal: To get rid of boyfriend without involving the cops.
Motivation: The boyfriend has ties to an influential family that would squash her like a bug if she got him in trouble.
Conflict: She would lose her house, job, etc. and the family would just hire a great attorney to get the BF off, leaving her with nothing.
Why do these GMCs work? Notice how they’re all tied together. She wants to get rid of her boyfriend, but doesn’t dare involve the cops because of the ex-boyfriend’s family ties. They’re too powerful and she has too much to lose.
A mistake I’ve seen writers make when working on GMCs is that in attempting to create strong GMCs, they forget to link everything together. Let’s start with the protagonist’s goal. Megan will be our heroine for this example. She wants independence. Why? She needs to gain respect from her brother, who thinks she’s been a Daddy’s girl too long (motivation). Why? Expand on this to create a stronger motivation.
What’s stopping her from attaining that goal (conflict)? Maybe her dad manipulates her and makes her feel guilty for not needing him. His life is worthless if he doesn’t have her to take care of. Her older sister’s worried he’ll go back into a depression if Megan doesn’t give him a purpose in life. Megan feels obligated to keep her dad from becoming depressed (and keep her sister happy), but is torn because that makes her brother unhappy. Not to mention, she has to decide what SHE wants.
To add more conflict, answer why she needs her brother’s respect. Maybe she wants to start a business with him, but he’s unsure she’s strong enough to handle the pressure and that she’s not independent enough to do her share of the work. So, now it’s not only about who she wants to make happy, but a career change for herself as well. Dig deeper. Why does she need this career change? What are the stakes? How soon does this change have to happen (the ticking clock)? (More explanations on “stakes” and “the ticking clock” in my next post.)
Let’s see how you do with the next scene. As before, use this to trigger the goal, motivation, and conflict these characters may have in a story. This time I’m going to give you even less to go on. Have fun!
Genre: Contemporary Romance
At the company picnic, on the baseball field, Patrick changes teams with a co-worker so he’d be teammates with Alexis, the new employee. Because she’s quiet, Patrick has assumed she’s shy, but there’s actually more to her than meets the eye. Patrick’s goal may seem obvious here, but what about hers? What could be in her past that would keep these two apart? In a romance, both the hero and heroine need their own GMCs, preferably conflicting ones. Imagine the possible story. What are Alexis and Patrick’s GMCs?