Need a blank GMC chart?
Goal, Motivation and Conflict (Karyn Good)
Conflict is the clash between wants and needs. Ask yourself: What stops a character from doing what he/she must versus what he/she wants? Another important question to ask is this: Why is loving this person the worst thing this character can do at this moment?
Goals, Motivation and Conflict (Mary Timmer) pp 13-16
There is a tricky balance between conflict and motivation. If a character’s goals aren’t important enough to him or her, a tough conflict could easily thwart them from pursuing the goal. The motivation behind the goal has to be strong enough to withstand the challenge of the conflicts you put in the character’s path. Does your character want to save the kitten in the tree? Really? Why? If the tree is covered in poison ivy, will he still be willing to climb up and save the kitten? What if there are killer hornets nesting in the tree and the hero can’t withstand a common bee sting? What would make him climb that tree then? He might climb that tree if a large reward was being offered for that kitten’s safe return. He might be even more likely if he needed the money to pay for his son’s medication – especially if the son might die without the medication. But if the hero’s goal is to buy a 1968 Corvette Stingray and he can get the money in other ways, he might decide that death by hornet isn’t worth the reward.
Goals, Motivation and Conflict (Shelley Munro)
If I can answer the following five questions about my characters, then I know my story is workable, and I’m ready to start.
Strong motivating factors:
Got Character Goals? (Laurin Witting)
What your character needs and wants drives what happens in the story — aka, your plot. If your character needs to learn to trust in order to be happy again (an internal goal), then your story better put that character in positions where she has to learn how to trust, and that trust must be tested, hard, so the character learns the lesson deep in her bones.
Once you’ve determined the character’s fear, then hit him/her with it with all the strength you’ve got in your pen. Be ruthless. This is not the time to be squeamish. This will guarantee an exciting movement to your story, and your readers will be anxious to find out how the character handles the stress.”
Low Fat Goal, Motivation and Conflict (Debra Twardowski)
Start conflict at the beginning. There is a reason they will be called to adventure. They have to go themselves.
Scene Conflicts (Alicia Rasley)
Think of the motivation and conflict as pullers and pushers. The motivation pulls her towards the goal, but the conflict is shoving her from behind or shoving her back or shoving her in another direction. How is that going to play out in this scene?
Sharing My GMC Chart. Have You Done Yours? (Missy Tippens)
Missy shares her GMC chart for her Love Inspired book, His Forever Love.
Understanding Goal, Motivation and Conflict (our own Starla Kaye)
What Do You Mean My Hero Needed More Conflict? (Mary Beth Lee)
Conflicts are important to the story. Not FIGHTS. Fights are external. They serve a purpose to a point, but the romance reader needs and wants more than one squabble after another. They want to know and love the characters in a book. They want to root for the man and woman involved in the story. They want to laugh and cry with them. And even though it might seem like it, they DO NOT want the road to everlasting love to be easy.
What Is Conflict? (Caro Clarke)
Conflict can be more subtle, more complex, more interesting than "she says tomayto, he says tomahto." Conflict is opposing desires, mismatches, uncertainty, deadlines, pressures, incompatible goals, uneasiness, tension. We are all caught up in some of these conflicts every day. And so should your characters. A convincing story has many conflicts built into it, layered and connected. The first layer is inside your characters. Once you know what these are, you can use them to make the conflicts between the characters more convincing and interesting.
Did you find any of these links helpful? Can you recommend additional resources? If you’d like to share GMCs from your own work, I’d love to see them.