Monday, August 8, 2016

F is for Franco's GMC

Ana found a tool for developing character GMC

Goals, Motivation and Conflict are the building blocks with which authors create three dimensional characters. Last week I learned about a GMC wizard created by author Shawntelle Madison. It's available on her website.

I tried it for my WIP's hero, heroine and villain. It's simple and effective. You answer step by step prompts about one character at a time. External goal, motivation and conflict. Internal goal, motivation and conflict. When you are satisfied, you can print out a grid with your answers. 

My villain is Franco Puissard, M.D., head of the prison hospital where much of my story's action takes place. I entered his data in the GMC wizard and printed out a sleek grid on a single, easy to refer to page.

Franco's Internal Goal is to not let anyone--not his employees, patients or wife--discover the secrets he's hidden since the fateful night the woman he loved disappeared. His motivation? Discovery would ruin his reputation. His conflict is keeping everything under control so he can protect himself.
His External Goal is to keep his former best friend from remembering what happened the night his best friend's wife disappeared. His motivation is he lied under oath at this best friend's trial. His conflict is the heroine (his best friend's tenacious daughter) refuses to accept that  her father is guilty.

Before I entered the data, I had not thought about his lying during the trial. This ups the stakes realistically and immensely. More believable motivation for his actions. A villain has to have solid reasons for the things he does. He has to have a backstory and a goal he'll fight tooth and nail for. He has to be an opponent worthy of the hero or heroine.

Villains can be Nature (a storm or huge mad dog) or society mores. It can be a fear, a paralyzing weakness stemming from a painful experience. These "villains" have personalities, too. Their purpose in the story is to defeat the hero. Assigning them Goals, Motives and Conflict would, I think now, help write the story.

Ms. Madison also has a synopsis wizard tool on her website. I will try that next.


  1. Sounds like an interesting tool. I might try it to see what happens.

  2. I tried this once, but found it impossible to do, because the characters' goals, motivations, and conflicts changed, sometimes quite dramatically, several times during the story, depending on the events and their reactions to them.

  3. This sounds like something worth trying, although I appreciate your comments too, Paula.

  4. I'm definitely going to check this out. Thanks for the tip, Ana. :)