Thursday, August 8, 2013

Melissa Snark "On Writing: GMC" -- Fight Your Write Blog

On Writing: GMC

No, not the automaker. Goal, Motivation, Conflict

Guest Post by Melissa Snark (That's me!)

medium_567207975Articles on the craft of writing are challenging. So much has already been said, yet very few books really stand out as invaluable writing tools. Today, I want to talk about a book that I have found particularly valuable.

GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict: The Building Blocks of Good Fiction by Debra Dixon offers a roadmap for getting from the opening chapter all of the way to the conclusion. The book explains in clear, concise language how to create believable characters and story occurrences, and then how to sustain momentum through a series of plot twists. She uses popular movies such as The Wizard of Oz and Casablanca to illustrate her points.

Prior to reading GMC, I had already employed many of the principles in the book in my writing, but the guide really gave me the terms and definitions necessary for applying a practical process to good storytelling.

Instead of talking about the book in length, I’ll define GMC and outline how Dixon’s process works in broad strokes. Then I’m going to use a scene from my own book to demonstrate how I incorporated her GMC model into my story.

Goal, motivation and conflict are the basis of everything that happens in the author’s fictional world.

Read the rest here.


  1. This is a great book! Once I read this, I cannot write without stopping myself and thinking "Does this scene have anything to do with my GMC?" and it gets me back on track of the story. Great post!

    1. Sharon,
      It's the one book that's always within grabbing distance of my desk.

      Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)