Revisited: GMC by Debra Dixon

by Lori, @lorisizemore on 08.17.2011

in then and now


Then

03.18.2008

G to the M to the freaking C

I bought GMC by Debra Dixon. It’s genius, I’d heard, and it’s true. It’s like having someone explain brain surgery in a book you can read in a day or two, and you finish and say, “Duh.”

Before I go on, I’d like to point out that used copies can go for more then $40 on Amazon. I love Amazon, nothing against Amazon, but you can purchase the book from the publisher for $19.95. Worth every dime, btw.

If you really want to know how useful it is, just google GMC and Dixon. You’ll find thousands of hits. That’s how widely accepted, adopted, and appreciated her work is.

The GMC one sentence checker (my name, I can’t remember THE name) works perfectly. Character wants GOAL because MOTIVATION, but CONFLICT. It really is that simple. I know–duh, right? It’s full of these nuggets, like an external goal can be experienced by the five senses. Well, that makes it easier. Now I know revenge isn’t an external goal. It’s internal, because internal goals are about emotion.

However, once you have your “Duh,” moment, this hits: “I am so screwed.” Or it does if you’ve written a word. I always knew I was a little vague on my goals. I think I even started out with goals, but… maybe I didn’t like what having those goals said about my characters, so I… got vague. Either way, I think I figured out why my first act was so slow… pointless?

But, I’m making my charts, and I think I can fix it. Maybe. Doesn’t matter, not for this–my point is buy the book!


Now

Today, this book continues to be a game-changer for me.  I still break it out when I run into a brick wall.  And, maybe it’s just me, but that brick wall is often caused by my NOT finding my GMC ahead of time.  Now, I’m not entirely sure I could find it ahead of time.  I think I have to do a bit of writing before I know enough to do it.  But, all the same, I simply could not have and could not in the future complete a manuscript without the knowledge I gained from this book.

Over the past three years, I’ve written about this concept several times. And I will continue to do so, because it just made everything click into place. And those moments, they’re too rare and important not to cling to.

I’ve updated the link in the old post again (they just love moving that book on me).  FYI: Used and new copies of this book on Amazon are now going for nearly $60.  There’s a reason for that and it’s called perceived value.

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