Saturday, June 20, 2009

I’ve Been Doing It!

(Note: You won’t understand this blog if you haven’t read the one before it.)

I made a lovely discovery today.

After spending considerable time working on “goal-motivation-conflict” issues with my main characters, I went back to the “scenes-analysis” table that I’ve been keeping for two or three years. I had modified it periodically, and last week I had already modified it by setting it up with columns for GMC. Then I set about, one scene at a time, from the perspective of the point-of-view character, to try and verbalize the GMC for that character in that scene.

Perhaps it’s still all Greek to you, but it has begun to make sense to me. After four or five scenes, it dawned on me—it looks as if I’ve been writing this way already! I didn’t have to struggle to identify a goal, motivation and conflict going on in each scene.

That means I’ve been doing something right! To say that was a good feeling is an understatement. At this point, I have done the analysis for two of the three pages of scenes that are already on the chart. I may go ahead and do the third sheet (it has some cool scenes on it), or I may get back to the revision process and just report on each scene’s GMC as I finish with the scene.

I’m still far from an expert on this, and I sometimes still confuse the goal with the motivation. In the online class I am taking on the topic, distinction is made between external GMC and internal GMC, but in the work I did today I didn’t make that distinction. Maybe next week I need to ask the facilitator about that.

Through this GMC business, I am really getting into my main character and understanding better what makes her tick. This is good because I didn’t know all that as I wrote her story initially. (I didn’t even recognize and acknowledge her as my mail character until I took a class from Angela Hunt at the first writing conference I attended.) So good things are happening.

One of those good things is that the more I get into this, the more I see the rich possibilities in stories beyond this first one.

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