Join Bri Clark, author of the romantic fantasy novel, Glazier (Astraea Press), as she virtually tours the blogosphere September 5 – 30 2011 on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!
GMC…and we ain’t discussing trucks. Goal, Motivation and Conflict
By Bri Clark
My editor at Astraea Press (Stephanie Taylor) and I were discussing submissions one day. 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 is what, spurred this post.
Goals: A story needs to have goals for the overall book as well as for the characters to keep the reader moving. Especially the main characters…however even the supporting characters need something to reach for. Take Shae Stryker in Glazier. She is a strong, sassy southern woman married to Collin Stryker a weapons analyst. Each one has goals… however, sometimes when there are strong secondary’s their goals may cross over with the protagonists thus creating drama and conflict. However, that’s for another post. If there are no goals, the story isn’t going anywhere. Really, a novel without purpose is like watching a cat chase a mouse in a circle. Its fun the first two times after that then the yawns begin—or worse they put the book down with an eye roll.
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! Readers need to know why the villain is so disturbed and why the hero fights so hard to do what is right. I’ll use Henry Tenison in Glazier. Decorated soldier, elite spy, lifetime scoundrel and the only other known Glazier in the world—he has never felt emotions for someone like he does Marie. Is it a bond forged through Glazier? Is it genuine affection? And the passion is nothing he could even dream of…but yet he doesn’t act upon it…why? In order for us as readers to connect with the characters we have to know their motivation, what drives them; better yet, we have to be shown.
Conflict: What is a happy conclusion without the journey? Really, it’s not even an ending it’s just knowledge. While happy is great, we don’t really get it without sad to be its counter balance. Thus conflict is born. Along with conflict there need to be all kinds of elements and layering into the story. For example in 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 trials along the way. 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 in case you were wondering Glazier is the first of a series.
Bri boasts several positions in the publishing industry. An author, professional reviewer, blogger, and author platform consultant she enjoys all aspects of her career from the creation of story to the branding and marketing needed to make her books successful.
Her latest book is Glazier, a romantic fantasy adventure novel with espionage, genetic powers, underground bases and a ginger beauty with memory issues that take you on a ride that begins in Vermont and comes to a head in Egypt.
You can find out more about Bri at http://briclarkthebelleofboise.blogspot.com/.
Visit her at Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/Bri_Clark or Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/TBriClark.