ATTN: Aspiring writers....I'm teaching a class
I’ve got a class coming up this next week and it’s probably my most popular class as far as requests for me to teach it. It’s called Making GMC Work for You though it really is an intense study on characters and how they should be driving the action of your books. Here’s the class blurb, the info and even an excerpt from one of the lectures. I hope to see many of you there. Remember in all of my classes I give lots of hands-on feedback specific to your manuscript.
Making GMC Work For You:
You’re familiar with all the basics, but how do you really apply all those acronyms? This workshop will go deep with hands-on assistance to show you how to build your story out of your character’s emotional journeys. We’ll pay special attention to the character growth and how it relates to theme and the developing romance. We’ll break down those the three elements, the goal, the motivation and the conflict, to create 3-dimensional characters with believable character arcs and page-turning plots.
WHEN: Jun 18, 2012 – Jul 1, 2012
COST: $15 for Premium Members/$20 for Basic Members
Now onto goals. Every character needs them. And in romance they generally need both internal and external goals. But asking the question, “what does your character want?” can be like asking a six year old what they want to be when they grow up – a fireman, a veterinarian, a dancer, a teacher, etc. The options are limitless especially when you’re thinking of the large scope of your entire story. There will always be exceptions to the “rules” but let’s, for argument’s sake, say that both your hero and heroine need one main external goal each. Keep in mind that external goals need to be three things: concrete, specific and they must require action in order to be obtained. Subsequently internal goals tend to be more subconscious and less concrete since they are emotional in nature. However, they too require action to obtain them, but action of a different sort. But we’ll get to more detailed explanation of the internal elements later.
One thing I’ve seen over and over again in teaching classes or judging contests is having a character’s goal be to maintain the status quo – I won’t say that this is wrong because there will always be a successful book out there to prove me wrong, but this sort of random goal isn’t concrete and doesn’t require any action. In addition, won’t it be a futile goal when our heroine learns in chapter one that the status quo is gone? This is a popular goal for heroines in historicals where she is expected to marry yet she wants to remain the rebellious girl she’s always been. Riding her horses with her hair whipping in the wind and tending her garden or writing her novels or whatever it is she wants to maintain. But wanting the status quo or to remain independent doesn’t really work, neither are tactile and for our external goal we should strive for something more concrete.