Sunday, June 14, 2009


Um . . . sorry. This post IS NOT about the General Motors Corporation. It's not about how the government is or isn't bailing them out (because to tell you the truth, I lost track of exactly what the status was with that). In this post, GMC stands for: Goal Motivated Conflict.

I attended the monthly MTCW (Middle Tennesee Christian Writers) meeting this morning. It is a group of writers - some published, some not yet - who meet to help each other hone their craft of writing. I get a ton out of these meetings, learning something new each month, but I think I can speak for even our veteran writers that everyone takes something away from the two hours we spend together.

This morning, multi-published Tamara Leigh presented us with the importance of incorporating GMC in our works in progress and how to do it effectively. Basically, the heroine and the hero must have a GMC AND each scene must have a GMC. Sound complicated? It's not really. Let me explain further by using my heroine, Kate, as an example.

Kate Sterling has a goal of trying to start over and begin a new life for her and her young daughter three years after her husband has passed away. Her motivation is that she is tired of grieving, tired of being alone. Her major conflict is just that she's not ready to let him go yet. Other goals, motivation, and conflicts come into play throughout the book to keep the reader interested and to propel the story along.

As I was pondering Goal Motivated Conflict tonight, I had the thought that we can apply this same formula to our everyday lives. For example: I have a goal to finish The Heart's Journey Home and get it perfect for my February release date. My motivation? Truly and honestly, to change hearts and bring people to a closer relationship with the Lord. My conflicts? Ha! Ha! That's funny! It's called LIFE! Olivia getting sick with ITP set me back. During the school year, my time is really divided up. I could keep naming conflicts that I have to work through to reach this goal, but you get the point. Sometimes in stories (and often in real life), the goal doesn't get reached, but it gets changed. That is typically a result of personal growth, and is a very cool thing to witness in real people and in characters!

I just wanted to share that with you tonight, and, in closing, I'm just wondering what are your Goal Motivated Conflicts? Have you ever had a goal that has changed instead of being met?

Stay tuned. In the next couple of weeks I'm going to be updating you on the status of The Heart's Journey Home, updating my list of prayer concerns, and posting book reviews. Right now I'm reading My Son, John by fellow Sheaf House author, Kathi Macias, and, let me tell you, folks, it is a gripping read! If you like deep, heart wretching, soul moving fiction, get ahold of this book.

But more on that later. For now I'm off to the wonderful world of fiction! :o)


Krista Phillips said...

LOVE how you related GMC to life. I loved the lesson yesterday too and got SO much out of it!

My personal GMC isn't something I share a lot on the Internet (it's not like gross private or anything... I'll tell you sometime so you'll understand, LOL) but I can really see that I DO have a goal and a motivation for that and yes, there are tons of conflicts that get in the way.

On the spiritual side, there are GMC's too. I have a goal to read my bible more, my motiivation is to grow closer to God, and my conflict is that I tend to wake up too late, or fall asleep to early, to get it done, and am running around doing fifteen thousand things during the day. How I'm conquering my conflict? I keep a Bible in my car so I can read on my lunch break or for a few minutes before heading into work. My husband is keeping me accountable and reading with me at night. And I have the Bible on CD so I can listen while I clean house (multi-tasking!)

So, there you have it! My GMC!

Jen Riffle said...

Oh, Krista, that is very good! Yes, there is totally a spiritual GMC, I think, in most everyone's life. I know there is for sure in mine and, being a working AND writing mama like you, mine is very similar. My other biggie is my weight - goal: to lose about 40 lbs, motivation: to get healthy and feel better about myself, conflict: um, my refrigerator! :o)

Thanks for the comment, girl! Hopefully I'll see ya next month!