GMC: Goal, Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon
This is the benchmark book on the subject, and I’d heard it referenced many times before. It was already slotted to be my February craft book choice, and I already owned it—had owned it for quite a while. Still, extra motivation is always good for me. I’m taking a Savvy Authors class, Plot A Romance in 2 Weeks. Yes, dear reader, I am making yet another attempt to plot. So far, it’s actually going pretty well! I’m really getting a lot out of the class. One of the references for the class is Dixon’s book. So, I read it. It’s a pretty short read, so I managed to finish it in a day, devoting a few hours to it. It’s been referenced so often, that a lot of it was already on my radar. Still, having read it on its own, in its entirety was very helpful.
Maybe I hit some kind of saturation point, because the concepts started to really coalesce for me. Almost every craft book I’ve read cites that characters have to want something. Writing 101, lesson 1. I think it was the motivation part that really took hold for me. It’s the why…why they need what they need (or think they need) and how it’s rooted in something in their past. It was the connection between the motivation and goal that clicked for me. Conflict I already had a pretty good grasp on, but I did start to look at it in another light. Because conflict can be more of a belief, tied to the past, than even a person or situation. Best, of course, if it’s both.
I found the book very beneficial, and I think it’s one I’ll refer back to on occasion. For anyone out there looking for a writing craft book, this one should have already been near the top of the list. It’s short, easy to read, simple to understand, and not very expensive. I highly recommend it!