GMC…and we ain’t discussing trucks. GOALS, MOTIVATION and CONFLICT
My editor at Astraea Press (I indicate Astraea cause I have several editors) and I were discussing submissions (we were discussing submissions because I also run the blog and contribute to the marketing for the Press. Currently authors wear many hats, but that’s a whole other post) She was expressing her dismay at having to reject so many. She’s wore the author cap too. She knows the sting. Nevertheless, she said she couldn’t accept a novel of any kind lacking GMC. GMC…I repeated. What’s that? Goals, Motivation, Conflict she explained…, which are what, spurred this post.
GOALS: A story needs to have goals for the overall book as well as for the characters. Especially the main characters…however even the supporting characters need goals. Even if it’s the farmers goal to get the crop in before the rains come. If there are no goals, the story isn’t going anywhere. Who cares if they sat and watched paint dry? Really, a novel without goals is like watching a cat chase a mouse in a circle. It’s fun the first two times after that the yawns begin.
MOTIVATION: This area in my opinion is really about your characters, the good the bad and the boring. Yes, I need to know why the boring characters are so boring! I’ll use Yelena in Poison Study as an example. The whole first part of the book and foreshadowed through the entire novel we learned why she really didn’t care that she was in the dungeon and was going to be hanged for murder. If Maria had said, she killed this guy and now on with her and Valek I can assure you it wouldn’t be as popular as it is. I say as popular because Valek is freaking hot and awesome [yes he is ;-] and I know people would have still read anyway. Anyway, in order for us as readers to connect with the characters we have to know their motivation, better yet we have to be shown and not told.
CONFLICT: What is a happy ending without the journey there? Really, it’s not even and ending it’s just happy. While happy is great and everything we don’t really get it without sad to be its opposite. Also, there need to be all kinds of elements of conflict layering into the story. For example in my novel Glazier, the ultimate conflict is what the heck is Glazier anyway? Is it a genetic superpower or is it something supernatural? Then there is the conflict of the protagonists Henry and Marie. They each share Glazier so they share the plot conflict but then they each have their own personal conflicts along with each supporting character. Oh, how I love it when the personal conflicts of each person weave together then when overcome more conflict is found and a series erupts. Ok sorry rant over.
The point is it doesn’t matter the genre, voice or publisher if there is not GMC the possibility for success is needlessly hindered.
I want to thank Maria for hosting me. She is one of my all time fave authors. [You're welcome Bri!]
Blurb (book comes out at the end of May):
Marie Kincaid suffering the greatest loss a woman can know runs from the pain. Falling asleep deep within the forest she awakes in an infirmary with a loss of memory and a power, she’s always possessed yet never known: Glazier. Glazier enables Marie to embark on a new life free of pain but most importantly free of the past. Heightened senses, accelerated strength, speed, and learning abilities make Marie a perfect candidate to be a spy…also a perfect companion for Henry Tenison…the only other known Glazier.
Henry, a loner and proud rogue finds his world upended when his connection to Marie is forged through Glazier. Unsure of how to progress with any relationship with her he endeavors to keep it strictly platonic and professional. As far away, missions and romantic surroundings entice him into pursuing his deeper desires he craves. However, Marie’ love changes everything.
Determined to free them both of the spy world and hold Abram their superior has over them Henry implements a plot to disappear. However, when things become dangerous in their latest mission, their first undercover, and memories of Marie’s past surface suggesting another man…will Henry’s efforts prove to come too late? If Marie remembers her past, will she still want their future?