Harlequin GMC Breakdown #3: Triple the Fun

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, 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!

Amazon (US)


Let’s read the summary first, catch you up to speed with Triple the Fun:

Baby, baby…baby?! It’s triplets from USA TODAY bestselling author Maureen Child!

He’s a captain of industry, a brooding billionaire and—a daddy? When Connor King learns he has fathered triplets, he feels double-crossed. Now nothing will stand in the way of claiming his heirs, not even their alluring legal guardian, Dina Cortez.

With the babies’ mother gone, Dina has vowed to protect Sage, Sam and Sadie. But who will protect Dina from her feelings for the dark and defiant Mr. King? Because once she and the children are moved into Connor’s California seaside mansion, his stately bed is just a heartbeat away…


TRIPLE THE FUN – Maureen Child

CHARACTER: Connor “Con” King

External goal: to raise his triplet children and be the father they need now that they are mothers-less

Why?: because he was raised with a family-oriented mindset

Why now?: Jackie and Elena have died and can’t take care of their children, also Dina is having financial troubles

External conflict(s): handling triplets are hard and he realizes he’s relying on Dina’s help; also the children have bonded with Dina and he doesn’t want to rob another mother-figure from their lives

Internal needs: he’s lonely and he wants what his brother, Colt and his cousins have in their families

Why?: he trusts his family, but he’s suspicious of most people (especially women) outside his family as they tend to want to use him for his money, his fame and his other influences

Internal conflict(s): Con has to let go of his suspicion and fall into and rely on faith in his marriage of convenience to Dina

CHARACTER: Dina Cortez

External goal: to ensure her niece and nephews don’t get sucked into the world of the Kings, which she imagines is rich, cold and cruel/unloving

Why?: she’s been raised by her grandmother, her abuela because her mother was busy chasing the latest man and making sure to fulfill his desires

Why now?: she needs to step up for the trips as a mother, and that means that she needs to re-adjust her life (push for her job)

External conflict(s): Dina’s coming to realize that having Con around is good for the trips and her, she’s able to balance and time manage better and be a mother to them yet also get her business going and chase her professional dreams

Internal needs: Dina wants love and family too, but she’s only getting used to the family she’s seemed to gain overnight (and tragically), but the love is hard to accept; but she loves how the triplets make her fill her heart with an abundance of condition-free love

Why?: all she knows that love brings heartache; it consumed those she loved (i.e. her mom and even Elena) with greed and foolishness and they’ve hurt their family with their crazed love decisions

Internal conflict(s): Dina needs to stop looking at Con like he’s one of the men her late mother dated and tried to please — and she has to understand loving someone doesn’t mean losing a part of yourself.

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