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GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict: The Building Blocks of Good Fiction Hardcover – 1602
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Excellent and rare book -- this advice will transform your scene writing!
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I have read several books on writing, but this is one of my favorites. I wish I had read this book years ago. I have tried other approaches to starting books, but this is one of the best to get you thinking of your character(s) and developing them before starting your story.
For new writers, I would recommend this book in addition to Conflict and Suspense by James Scott Campbell and On Writing by Stephen King. These three books will give you a good foundation for things to consider before starting your book.
Dixon uses movies such as The Wizard of Oz and Indiana Jones to explain the concepts (in fact, she recommends readers watch the movies before reading the book, so they will get the full benefit).
GMC is structured in four main sections: Goal, Motivation, Conflict and Scenes. Each section has a helpful list of the main points covered in the section, and the author is very persuasive in her belief that the GMC concept can help all writers, but that each writer can and will choose to apply the concept in a different way.
Dixon also answers the question of why I don’t write fiction:
“If conflict makes you uncomfortable or you have difficulty wrecking the lives of your characters, you need to consider another line of work.”
Yes, I’ll stick with reading.
I’ve read books that were obviously written using the GMC concept, and while I didn’t always like some of the characters, their purpose was clear. I’ve also read some books that obviously weren’t written based on the GMC concept, and they were lacking. Some were lacking conflict, some were lacking character goal, some were lacking in not having a single likeable character. Give conflict is the basis of all good fiction, authors will benefit from using an approach like this. Recommended.
I've added a link for another great book that was a huge help for me, and even if you don't want to structure your novel, there are a lot of fabulous tips in the book I've linked here.
Structuring Your Novel Workbook: Hands-On Help for Building Strong and Successful Stories (Helping Writers Become Authors Book 4)