Since I’m going to be participating in this year’s A-to-Z Challenge as well and I’ve been making strides there (and everywhere) where my plotting/outlining techniques are concerned, I’ve decided to extend this to one of the plotting methods I employee when I begin a story, the goal-motivation-conflict (or GMC).
A good book for GMC is Debra Dixon’s GMC: Goal, Motivation, Conflict. Pretty straightforward, maybe a bit dry if you’re unused to plotting, but the text is a wonderful resource for writers, both seasoned and new.
I’m going to use Harlequin titles (not just specifically Harlequin Desire) to sift the heroes and heroines’ characterizations through the GMC plotting method. Cool?
If you’re an aspiring (or otherwise) writer, I hope this helps you out a bit. And of course, feel free to pick up the book above at Amazon or B&N (or your local bookstore or library) and read along!
And the summary for our second GMC break down book, Sarah M. Anderson’s The Nanny Plan:
This billionaire bachelor has a baby challenge…
Being a father to his orphaned infant niece is out of this tech billionaire’s comfort zone. Lucky for Nate Longmire, Trish Hunter is a natural at motherhood, and she’s agreed to be his temporary nanny. But long glances, slow kisses and not-so-innocent touches are strictly off-limits…
Trish’s goal is to help Nate in exchange for a big donation to her charity for Lakota kids. Falling for her bachelor boss—and his adorable baby girl—is not part of the plan. But when the month is up, will she be able to walk away?
THE NANNY PLAN – Sarah M. Anderson
CHARACTER: Nate Longmire
External goal: to get a nanny to help him learn how to parent his orphaned niece, Jane “Janie” and that means getting the best — and the best is Trish Hunter
Why?: he needs to be there for Jane who’s just lost her parents
Why now?: because Trish wants his money anyways for her charity, and he likes her and connected with her better than he does most women, and she’s good with Jane — so why not?
External conflict(s): the sexual/physical attraction goes against the contract or the “Nanny Plan” and so as he’s a man of his word, Nate doesn’t want to lose Trish’s trust; also it makes it easier to ask her out once their employer-employee relationship ends in a month
Internal needs: he wants to be able to let go of the anger, become a better person, not be lonely; help his parents out by helping Jane and being the father who’s left her
Why?: family means a lot to him, and he’s a man of his word, no matter how he might be treated (e.g. his sleazy, if not repentant ex, Diana and betrayal from his late older brother, Brad)
Internal conflict(s): he’s realizing that money doesn’t solve his problems and that keeping Trish means paying with his heart and loving her not how she is with Jane, or a substitute mother
CHARACTER: Trish “Patricia” Hunter
External goal: make sure to get more funding for her charity ‘One World, One Child’ via the assistance of the Longmire Foundation (for charities)
Why?: she grew up on her South Dakota rez without the luxuries middle-income children get (i.e. school supplies); one of her younger siblings died as a baby (when he was 14 months old)
Why now?: her little siblings need her more than ever and she’s almost done her Masters in Social Work and would love to make her charity a full-time importance (she’s graduating in about a month)
External conflict(s): she’s has to fulfill the one-month of her nanny contract with the super hot geeky billionaire Nate Longmire if she’s to get the 250K promise for her charity plus the 20K to help pay off some debts and fly back home to see family once she’s graduated in that month from SFSU
Internal needs: she doesn’t want to be like her mom, and is trying to avoid falling for Nate, or even falling for his world — his home, his adorable, motherless niece and the wonderful heart she sees shining through the geeky horn-rimmed glasses
Why?: because she grew up around the awful men who her mom would date and/or marry and the irresponsibility of the 9 or so pregnancies that left Trish, the ever-responsible eldest, with the task of raising most of her siblings, except the youngest ones who she left behind to pursue her degree — she doesn’t want to be like her mom, falling madly for sex and the pursuit of it to forget everything, especially her charity for the children on the rez
Internal conflict(s): waking up to realize she has it going good with Nate Longmire and he isn’t buying her out for a month-to-month affair until it crackles out and she’s left with a broken-heart and broken dreams/spirits; Nate is as much invested in her cause as he is in Trish’s heart