Writerly Reads: GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon – Part 1

GMCThis book was one of the suggested texts in an online writing course I took last year. The course was offered through Ed2Go, an online adult and continuing education school, whose courses my library offers free of cost to patrons. I read only portions of the book during the course. Now I plan to go through it cover to cover.

Following are notes from the Introduction book.


~  Writing may not always be fun for writers
~ Writers write
~ Writers take classes, enter contests, join groups
~ Writers want something they can apply to their own work, internalize, utilize
~ GMC was the result of sharing writing tips at a writers group

G = Goal = desire, want, need, ambition, purpose
M = Motivation = drive, backstory, impetus, incentive
C = Conflict = trouble, tension, friction, villain, roadblock

These 3 topics are the foundation of everything in a story

PLOT = what happens in our story world

GMC can be applied to plotting in a variety of ways
~ character development
~ sharpening scenes
~ creating memorable secondary characters
~ writing synopses
~ pitching ideas to an editor
~ evaluating whether an idea is going to work
~ use GMC to prewrite or plan or write first then use GMC in revision
~ use it to prepare for an interview
~ use it when composing query letters

Each writer’s process is unique, but all can use GMC

FRIST ASSIGNMENT: Procure & watch the following
~ The Wizard of Oz
~ Ladyhawke
~ The Client
~ Star Wars
~ Casablanca
~ The Fugitive

Film is a quick, accessible medium, easier to watch than reading six books
Watch them again, even if you have already seen them, little details are important

Next installment soon. (I’m gathering and watching movies.)


Debra Dixon is a novelist, CEO, national speaker, publisher, business consultant, software developer. You may find her web site here and her books here.



For the most part, this blog is about reading and writing m/m romances, but there are a few personal reflections, some writerly information, and a bit of writing practice. Thank you for stopping by.

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Posted in Writerly Reads

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