Sunday, September 2, 2012

Those Lovely Acronyms - GMC, GMCD, EQDA

GMC is the acronym for Goal, Motivation, Conflict. Every story has a GMC. Each main character's GMC drives the story.

My main character's GMC for the first book in the series is:

Goal: To get back home 

Motivation (Internal/External): Homesick, Misses grandparents / Taken away from family, Current negative situation

Conflict (Internal/External): Scared, Uncertain, People-pleaser / Kidnappers, Held against will, Inside mountain, Others threatened

That's the main character's story GMC. Her story, what the book is about, is how she journeys through her GMC.

GMCD stands for Goal, Motivation, Conflict, Disaster. Each scene is written to this model. The main character, in Scene #1 of Book #1, has a GMCD of:

Goal: To go fishing

Motivation (Internal/External): Loves fishing / Her grandfather

Conflict (Internal/External): Fearful of doing something she's not supposed to do / The wind is blowing too hard to fish, Her grandfather's presence to witness her doing something she's not supposed to do

Disaster: Yes, but her grandfather isn't well

Potential Disaster endings for scenes include: 1) No; 2) Yes, but; and 3) No, and furthermore. (A straight-forward Yes, as far as reaching the scene goal, is not a good option, because it leaves the end of the scene flat and without expectation for what's going to happen next.)

EQDA, which is Emotion, Quandary, Decision, Action, serves as a sequel to the scene and may consist of as little as a sentence or a paragraph or as much as several paragraphs or several pages. The EQDA for the first scene is depicted in a few sentences at the very end of the scene.

Emotion: Excitement

Quandary: Doesn't want to get in trouble, but maybe it's okay to do something she/her might get into trouble for.

Decision: She/he is going to do it.

Action: Does it.

Although the draft is rough, the GMCD and EQDA are depicted clearly. The scene has a purpose. It moves the story forward, plus, hopefully, if I've done my job correctly, the scene leaves the reader curious as to what she's going to do that 's wrong, as well as giving a sense of foreboding and hinting at bad things to come.


Melissa Sugar said...

This was very helpful. I always work out my GMCD prior to writing each scene. I have also learned a lot about the sequel from the master, Dwight Swain. He explains the purpose of the MRU or the MR unit (the motivational response unit) and the sequel, the reaction, dilemma and decision. Your blog post is my first intro to the EQDA, and I found it to be most helpful in understanding how to plot my scenes and sequels.

I am new to your blog and I looked for a place like Google Friend Connect, so that I can follow you blog, but I do not see it.

Kathy said...
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Kathy said...

Melissa, I've added an email blog follow feature and a Post/Blog RSS-feed follow feature. Hope that helps! Thanks so much for dropping by!