• Who We Are

  • Schedule

    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

  • Snarky’s Tweets

  • Kinetic’s Tweets

  • Dreamer’s Tweets

  • Wicked’s Tweets

  • Eerie’s Tweets

  • Mighty’s Tweets

Chickens and Eggs

When I first started writing, what plopped down first in my imagination was story, or plot arc. Initially, I would populate the story with off-the-shelf characters and jump into the tale. As one might imagine, this lead to a death-spiral of problems beyond even a gifted writer’s ability to save. What I knew about my main character amounted to the path through the story he or she needed to take. I knew even less about the other main characters. They were just there to fill in the blanks in a cardboard sort of way.

My characterizations were shallow at best and the areas where character motivations crossed were almost entirely lacking. Without those intersecting motivations and goals, my subplots almost didn’t exist.

Fortunately for me, Snarky (our tallest dwarf), referred me to a book by Debra Dixon called GMC, or Goal Motivation and Conflict. During our recent writing retreat up in the mountains, I was able to read and absorb the ideas put forth by Ms. Dixon. To put it bluntly, it was a revelation of the many things I was doing wrong. I had no idea what my heroes wanted out of the story or why they wanted to participate.

Knowing a character’s goals, motivations, and conflicts eases the development of plot. You know there are certain things which must happen in the story. It also helps greatly with foreshadowing and red herrings.

What does this all mean? For one thing, fewer rewrites and going back to plug in information you missed the first time through. It also keeps your characters on track according to their GMC.

Chickens or eggs? Well, what works for me is both. An idea about the plot/story and a lot of character building, then back and forth. It’s an ongoing process.

Perhaps a little slower to get your first draft finished, but a quicker way to get that final draft.

PS: If you’re interested in the book by Debra Dixon, the lowest price I’ve found for it is at: http://www.gryphonbooksforwriters.com/ The cost there is $19.95 and it’s 57.99 at Amazon.

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1 Comment

  1. Love it, and too true. Even if you did call me a giantess. Am I really the tallest? LOL

    Snarky

    Reply

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