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GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict
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GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict [Kindle Edition]

Debra Dixon
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

"This book belongs on every fiction writer's bookshelf. Anyone who has ever had a story to tell and is dying to get it down on paper will find guidance and inspiration in GMC. The presentation is clear, immediate, and relevant to all writers--from novices to seasoned professionals. Experienced author Debra Dixon has done a magnificent job of demystifying the toughest aspect of fiction writing: that of a giving a story shape, form and urgency." -- Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling and RITA® Award winning author of over 40 novels and novellas

"One of the best in her craft." -- Toronto Star

"Goal, Motivation & Conflict is one of my all time favorites." -- Jane Porter (Flirting With Forty), award winning and bestselling author with 10 million books in print, in twenty languages and 25 countries

Goal, motivation, and conflict are the foundation of everything that happens in the story world. Using charts, examples, and movies, the author breaks these key elements down into understandable components and walks the reader through the process of laying this foundation in his or her own work.

Learn what causes sagging middles and how to fix them, which goals are important, which aren't and why, how to get your characters to do what they need for your plot in a believable manner, and how to use conflict to create a good story. GMC can be used not only in plotting, but in character development, sharpening scenes, pitching ideas to an editor, and evaluating whether an idea will work.

Be confident your ideas will work before you write 200 pages.

Plan a road map to keep your story on track.

Discover why your scenes aren't working and what to do about it.

Create characters that editors and readers will care about.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 677 KB
  • Print Length: 121 pages
  • Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (July 15 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DZ01FRY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #51,642 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent how to manual on GMC Oct. 16 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I needed this! Debra writes a concise, clear script of how to chart your GMC( goal, motivation and conflict) per character and tie it all together into an unforgettable book. Now I need to incorporate it into my work :)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  62 reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A practical blueprint for writing effective fiction July 15 2003
By "david-coffey" - Published on
Beginning novel writers often need a roadmap to get from chapter one to The End. *Goal, Motivation and Conflict* by Debra Dixon is a practical and insightful manual for writing effective, cogent fiction. She takes you step by step through the writing process using her GMC method. She explains in detail how to create believable characters and events, how to sustain your narrative through multiple plot twists, and how to tie it all up in the end leaving the reader begging for more. Best of all she uses characters and plots from movies such as *The Client*, *The Wizard of Oz*, and *Casablanca.* This book gives you the tools necessary for crafting believable fiction. If that novel you're writing has disintegrated into nothing more than an unruly collection of word clusters, this book is for you. If you haven't started writing your novel yet, this book will save you from pulling your hair out by the roots.
PS. *Goal, Motivation and Conflict* can always be obtained from the publisher, Gryphon Press.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book For Writers Jan. 29 2006
By Patricia Lewin - Published on
This is the only book I know of that deals exclusively with Goals, Motivation and Conflict; three of the most essential elements to writing good fiction. The book is excellent. Ms. Dixon understands what makes a story memorable and she presents her knowledge in a clear, understandable format.

Patricia Lewin, Author of BLIND RUN, OUT OF REACH & OUT OF TIME
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Debra Dixon Does Her Damnedest April 18 2013
By G. Charles Steiner - Published on
I asked JoAnn Ainsworth, author of five successful novels, "Matilda's Song" and "Out of the Dark," "Polite Enemies," "The Farmer and the Wood Nymph," and "Expect Trouble" in an e-mail, for advice as to how to learn the craft of fiction, and JoAnn recommended Debra Dixon's "Goal, Motivation, Conflict." Debra Dixon is also a successful romance novelist although her works are contemporary.

I pretty much liked overall how Debra Dixon lays out her information. This book is almost solely about the external and internal goals, motivations and conflicts of the protagonist and antagonist, as well as other major characters, although there is also helpful information about dominant impression (giving your characters an adjective and a noun -- like angry father or guilty ex-military man) and something called "tag lines" which is what the writer thinks each character learns in the process of development through conflict. Finally, Debra Dixon writes helpfully about what is a scene (showing) in contrast to what is a narrative (telling).

This book easily could be twice its length without once boring the reader or would-be writer. In Chapter Nine, there is a "GMC Brainstorming" workshop in which is displayed the schemata for how one comes up with a character as well as the goals, motivations and conflicts, both internal and external, for the character.

Debra Dixon asks writers to answer these questions:

Who are we writing about? A bookkeeper, a Navy SEAL, who?

What's our overall impression of him?

What does your character want? (He wants one thing outwardly in order to fulfill an urgent inner desire - and in order to satisfy his urgent emotional want, he has to do something physical)
What is your character's inner goal? What does he/she want emotionally? Why does he want to feel this, to emotionally experience this?

Is what he wants urgent? How can we make it urgent?

Why can't your character get what he wants? What's the problem? (What's the opponent's agenda?)

What does your character have to learn?

What is the conflict to your character feeling the way he wants to feel?

Debra Dixon uses "GMC" as a single unit or word to convey a lot of information, and in the beginning of the book -- for the first 58 pages, she defines only the "G" and "M" while continuing to use "GMC" as a term without defining what "C" or "Conflict" means. I found this approach irritating and distracting because while her approach is to lay all her cards out on the table right from the start, she doesn't really do it -- until after Chapter Four, starting at page 59, is finished. This is not a major complaint or criticism; it's merely a logical one.

Debra Dixon gives good examples of her own of what she means by goal-oriented, motivated characters who will experience conflict, and she supplies further clear examples from scenes in "The Wizard of Oz" and "Ladyhawke," in particular. Debra's own examples are sharply drawn and vivid and make for a great teaching tool or model.

I like that her approach is simple and direct and well-illustrated with examples. I like also that she tells you "because" is the word that reveals motivation and "but" is the word that reveals conflict as in, for example, "The midwife wants the hero's help as a guide BECAUSE he can ease her transition into the community, BUT he's a recluse and doesn't trust outsiders."

There is, at the near-end of the book, a chapter on writing a query letter to publishers in which all the above information is used to describe the finished novel the writer wants to pitch called "Twenty-Five Words or Less."

Debra Dixon recommends the works of Dwight Swain ("Techniques of the Selling Writer") and Robert Newton Peck ("Fiction Is Folks") as well as Ansen Dibell's "Plot" (published by Writers Digest) in order to further refine one's understanding of the craft of fiction.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book for writing commercial fiction I have read. Oct. 9 2010
By Robert T. Leach - Published on
Especially for the new author, Goal Motivation and Conflict is a concise, practical and easy to understand road map for the writer of commercial fiction. I respectfully disagree with TM Kelly who gave it 2 stars because the book is geared towards commercial and not literary fiction. First that is like being disappointed with a Honda because its not a Cadillac. Second the principles in the book can still be applied to "deeper" fiction. It provides a starting place for the newer writer to build any genre.

The author uses examples from popular movies (something found in many writing books) because almost everyone has seen or can easily obtain them, films are "show" not "tell" mediums, and they clearly illustrate her points. I find the clear, practical guidance of "GMC" a refreshing change from academic, theoretical essays that fill some "how to" writing books.

I have over 70 books on writing in my study, if a friend wanted a recommendation for one book on writing fiction, even deep literary fiction this would be the first one I would recommend. It can be found at the author's web site for $20.00, so no need to pay for high priced used copies any more. I have never met Debra Dixon but I wish I could thank her, this book is a great service to the new and aspiring author.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A road map for the clueless Sept. 12 2013
By Jennifer Fusco - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm a writer. I have an agent and countless rejections by publishers mainly because of GMC. The feedback up to now has been that the GMC wasn't strong enough. My response, "what the F does that mean and what am I doing wrong?" I'll admit I'm not that smart, so I had to read the book twice before the GMC light bulb went off. But I didn't care how many times I had to read it, I got it and Ms. Dixon taught me how important a strong GMC is. Now, I dare to say that if I get published its because of this book. Publishing is too fickle an industry for that. But, I will say now that if publishers do reject me, it won't be because of my books GMC issues. After this read, there simply won't be any.

Thank you, Ms Dixon. You've saved me a lot of time, tears, and frustration.
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