Monday, January 10, 2011
What's on the Page?
To dig deeper and into my characters and go beyond their physical appearance and general history I fill out a GMC chart from Debra Dixon's book GMC-Goals, Motivation, and Conflict.
By using the chart I have to really think about the character and what their goal in life and for the story are. What do they consider a success a failure? Delving into why they want the goal helps me to learn more about their backstory and how they came to be the character starting this story. This knowledge gives me their motivation for their goal. And it helps me to build flaws that would keep them from attaining what they want and gives me the workings for their character arc or growth through the story.
Then I have to toss in conflict. Both internal, their own flaw or perceived flaw, and external conflicts from people or circumstances beyond their control.
Even though I've started Spirit of the Sky the chart is still a work in progress just like the book. And it will be until I get about a third of the way into the book and get to really know my characters.
What I have so far for Sa-qan the heroine:
Goal- to keep the Nimiipuu safe and together preferably on their land.
Motivation- It is who she is. Her focus as a spirit is to look after the Nimiipuu and see that they prosper.
Conflict - She finds to save the Nimiipuu she has to drop some or her rules and become one of them. The army is chasing the Nimiipuu from their land and killing them in the process.
Lieutenant Wade Watts:
Goal - To fulfill his duty and bring the Nimiipuu to the reservation.
Motivation - He wants to be promoted so he can stop moving from place to place. He's finally ready to settle down and let all the pain of the past catch up to him and hopefully heal.
Conflict- He finds himself sympathizing with the Nimiipuu and falls in love with a Nimiipuu maiden unlike the others. This makes it harder and harder to follow orders from his superior and could get him court martialed.
And that is one more step in how I create a book.
Hope this helps other writers and sheds light for readers about the process of writing.