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GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict: The Building Blocks of Good Fiction Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 165 pages
  • Publisher: Gryphon Books for Writers
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965437108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965437103
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,033,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 56 customer reviews
GMC is one of those books every writer should read.
Kym McNabney
Especially for the new author, Goal Motivation and Conflict is a concise, practical and easy to understand road map for the writer of commercial fiction.
Robert T. Leach
Characters without motivation and goals and who are not embroiled in conflict are cardboard characters and the story is dull.
Judy A. Davis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By "david-coffey" on July 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Beginning novel writers often need a roadmap to get from chapter one to The End. *Goal, Motivation and Conflict* by Debra Dixon is a practical and insightful manual for writing effective, cogent fiction. She takes you step by step through the writing process using her GMC method. She explains in detail how to create believable characters and events, how to sustain your narrative through multiple plot twists, and how to tie it all up in the end leaving the reader begging for more. Best of all she uses characters and plots from movies such as *The Client*, *The Wizard of Oz*, and *Casablanca.* This book gives you the tools necessary for crafting believable fiction. If that novel you're writing has disintegrated into nothing more than an unruly collection of word clusters, this book is for you. If you haven't started writing your novel yet, this book will save you from pulling your hair out by the roots.
PS. *Goal, Motivation and Conflict* can always be obtained from the publisher, Gryphon Press.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Lewin on January 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is the only book I know of that deals exclusively with Goals, Motivation and Conflict; three of the most essential elements to writing good fiction. The book is excellent. Ms. Dixon understands what makes a story memorable and she presents her knowledge in a clear, understandable format.

Patricia Lewin, Author of BLIND RUN, OUT OF REACH & OUT OF TIME
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By G. Charles Steiner TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I asked JoAnn Ainsworth, author of five successful novels, "Matilda's Song" and "Out of the Dark," "Polite Enemies," "The Farmer and the Wood Nymph," and "Expect Trouble" in an e-mail, for advice as to how to learn the craft of fiction, and JoAnn recommended Debra Dixon's "Goal, Motivation, Conflict." Debra Dixon is also a successful romance novelist although her works are contemporary.

I pretty much liked overall how Debra Dixon lays out her information. This book is almost solely about the external and internal goals, motivations and conflicts of the protagonist and antagonist, as well as other major characters, although there is also helpful information about dominant impression (giving your characters an adjective and a noun -- like angry father or guilty ex-military man) and something called "tag lines" which is what the writer thinks each character learns in the process of development through conflict. Finally, Debra Dixon writes helpfully about what is a scene (showing) in contrast to what is a narrative (telling).

This book easily could be twice its length without once boring the reader or would-be writer. In Chapter Nine, there is a "GMC Brainstorming" workshop in which is displayed the schemata for how one comes up with a character as well as the goals, motivations and conflicts, both internal and external, for the character.

Debra Dixon asks writers to answer these questions:

Who are we writing about? A bookkeeper, a Navy SEAL, who?

What's our overall impression of him?

What does your character want? (He wants one thing outwardly in order to fulfill an urgent inner desire - and in order to satisfy his urgent emotional want, he has to do something physical)
What is your character's inner goal?
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert T. Leach on October 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Especially for the new author, Goal Motivation and Conflict is a concise, practical and easy to understand road map for the writer of commercial fiction. I respectfully disagree with TM Kelly who gave it 2 stars because the book is geared towards commercial and not literary fiction. First that is like being disappointed with a Honda because its not a Cadillac. Second the principles in the book can still be applied to "deeper" fiction. It provides a starting place for the newer writer to build any genre.

The author uses examples from popular movies (something found in many writing books) because almost everyone has seen or can easily obtain them, films are "show" not "tell" mediums, and they clearly illustrate her points. I find the clear, practical guidance of "GMC" a refreshing change from academic, theoretical essays that fill some "how to" writing books.

I have over 70 books on writing in my study, if a friend wanted a recommendation for one book on writing fiction, even deep literary fiction this would be the first one I would recommend. It can be found at the author's web site for $20.00, so no need to pay for high priced used copies any more. I have never met Debra Dixon but I wish I could thank her, this book is a great service to the new and aspiring author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Fusco on September 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm a writer. I have an agent and countless rejections by publishers mainly because of GMC. The feedback up to now has been that the GMC wasn't strong enough. My response, "what the F does that mean and what am I doing wrong?" I'll admit I'm not that smart, so I had to read the book twice before the GMC light bulb went off. But I didn't care how many times I had to read it, I got it and Ms. Dixon taught me how important a strong GMC is. Now, I dare to say that if I get published its because of this book. Publishing is too fickle an industry for that. But, I will say now that if publishers do reject me, it won't be because of my books GMC issues. After this read, there simply won't be any.

Thank you, Ms Dixon. You've saved me a lot of time, tears, and frustration.
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