Monday, April 23, 2012

Debra Dixon's GMC

I love reading craft books for writing.

What can I say? I love studying.

Currently, I’m on my second time through Debra Dixon’s GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict.
This is a book that is written in such a straight-forward way it’s easy to understand.  Basically, the author maintains that each character in your story should have concrete goals (what they want), motivation (why they want it) and conflict (what’s keeping them from getting it). She uses well-known movies to illustrate her points, and it’s worthwhile to watch those movies (she encourages you to do so in her introduction).
I initially read this book a year ago when I was developing the characters for my first book. Even in the early drafts I was getting comments like “these aren’t cardboard characters,” and I know it’s because I used Debra Dixon’s GMC chart to develop all of my characters, not just the main, point-of-view characters.

So tell us, what are your favorite craft books?

You can buy Debra Dixon’s GMC here. You’ll find a much better price than on Amazon.


  1. I have found FIRE IN FICTION by Donald Maass very helpful when revising. This is not for editing - like for commas or grammar. This book helps to do what the title suggests - put fire into your fiction. It is very practical with instruction, examples from book excerpts, and a "now you try it" section for each section.

  2. Yes Paula! I have FIRE IN FICTION on my TBR shelf - I finished THE BREAKOUT NOVELIST just before re-reading GMC. Loved it!

  3. I have Fire in Fiction and Writing the Breakout Novel and have not yet delved into them very much, though what little of them I have read seems excellent and improved my work.