All good writers know about GMC. It’s the foundation for every good book, not just romance, but every book. And the stronger the GMC of your characters, the closer you come to bestselling lists, the Great American Novel, or making historical stature like Will Shakespeare…a book read by generations.
For the non-writers who read this blog, GMC stands for Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. Simply put: Goal–what does the character want most; Motivation–why does he/she want it so much; Conflict–what keeps him/her from getting his/her goal. And in romance, there are two GMC. One is internal or the relationship and the other is external or the story that is the plot that shows the relationship growth.
While I was trying to think of a good blog subject, it dawned on me that writer’s have their own personal GMC. And this is constantly changing as the writer grows. For instance, when I started writing romance, my goal was to sell my books. Why? Because at the time, I hated the changes nursing was going through and wanted to change careers. Conflict? Mortgage, child at home, bills…all of which I needed my salary to pay.
After I sold my first book and had trouble selling the second, my goal changed. By then, I was working another type of nursing (teaching) so I lost the motivation that pressured me to sell. My new goal was to build my brand by teaching and slowly building a readership. But my conflict became my teaching. I spent so much time grading that I couldn’t write fast enough to build my career the way I wanted.
Again, my goal changed when I went back to working at a hospital. Nowadays, my goal is to become a consistently selling author…no matter whether it’s my romance novels, SF short stories, or whatever. My motivation is I’m reaching an age where I will no longer be able to practice nursing and, thanks to the tanked out stock market, I will need a supplemental income for retirement. My conflict is a changing market that sometimes is difficult to keep up with. And let’s face it…I’m no longer young enough to spend the kind of energy I could when I was in my forties. 🙂
Now, again I’m changing my goals. I’m actively researching ways to go into part-time nursing, giving me more time to write more consistently. My motivation is so I can have a semi-retirement that lets me actively pursue my two loves…nursing children and writing. My conflict is my self-doubt, fear of the future, and my need to be safe and secure. But I have several strong tools for my task. I have the support of my friends and family that I can succeed. I’m confident in my writing skills. And I have my happy pill which keeps me from worrying too much about what’s to come.
Besides, what would life ber like without GMC?