Friday, September 14, 2012

No Goal, No Scene (GMCD in Action)

From the photo, you can see that my scenes are depicted by different colored index cards for each point of view (POV) character in the story. (Notecarding can be fun and Index Cards can be your friends!)

The cards are laid out in order of occurrence by character (or color), which leads to the next step of placing them in the main character's storyline, so that I end up with a blend of colored cards that depict a forward-moving story.

Once the cards in order, my next step is to figure out the character's GOAL for the scene.

For the first scene, which is also the Inciting Incident, the main character, Junior, is going about getting himself recaptured by the bad guys, on purpose, so that he can help his friend that's already been recaptured; therefore, Junior's goal IS to get get recaptured.  It's that simple.

For each scene, I look at, "What is the character's MOTIVATION for wanting what he or she wants?"

Junior's friend has been recaptured, and he was unable to prevent the friend being taken. He cares about the friend. His deepest need is to belong, so he considers this friend to be part of his family. That's his motivation for wanting to get recaptured. Again, simple.

So, what CONFLICT is preventing him from getting recaptured? Who or what is standing in his/her way of getting what he wants?

The captors certainly aren't expecting Junior to walk up and turn himself over to them, so Junior must get their attention, then things go wrong with his attempts to get their attention.

The DISASTER at the end of the scene answers the question of whether the character achieved or reached his goal.

Did Junior get himself recaptured?

Yes, however, Junior is injured, and because he's been recaptured we know that bad things are in store for him.

There you have the Goal, Motivation, Conflict, and Disaster (GMCD) for the Inciting Incident and also the first scene of Book #2, Series #1.

Without a character's GMCD within the scene, a scene, at least in the genres I write, doesn't serve a purpose, so without the GMCD follow-through for each scene, there is no scene.

So, with seventy plus (70+) scenes to go, I'm off to learn my GMCDs.

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