The GMC or Goal, Motivation, and Conflict are the most important ingredients in storytelling, and somehow, I started a story and forgot all about the GMC. I had my basic idea and characters, but when I started working on the story, I forgot to pin down the three main points. It didn’t take me long to realize that my story had nowhere to go because my characters had no specific desires or wanted to gain anything and nothing was holding them back. No GMC = no story.
Here is something I came up with to help me know my characters and define their goals, motivation, and conflict.
First off, the goal is the one thing the main characters want. The goal needs to be something that they want so badly they will do anything to get to that goal. The goal should be important enough for characters to act against.
The motivation is why the characters want what they want—the drive and back-story. Anything is possible for character as long as the writer explains why to give the reader enough motivation to give the story credibility. The writer needs to know their characters well so that the actions stay in character to justify and make the reasons for actions clear to readers. When a character wants something bad enough, the reader will, too.
The last piece is conflict, which is why the characters can’t get what they want, the trouble, tension and roadblocks that are preventing the characters from achieving their goals. Conflict drives the plot and motivates the characters. There are two types of conflict—external and internal. External conflict can be a person, an intolerable situation, or an act of God. Internal conflict is inner struggles within the characters.
I find it helpful to have character charts for my main characters. Here is an example of a character chart that I use to help me get to know my characters:
Religion or Beliefs:
What would destroy him:
What would help him survive and be better:
Historical fantasy and Paranormal romance
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth & magic