I remembered when I first starting writing, I was clueless on Goal, Motivation, and Conflict.
I started out writing a romance story, so of course the heroine’s goal was:
Her motivation was:
“I want to be loved.”
The conflict was:
Whatever kept them apart. Mainly I was thinking arguments….. disagreements…. maybe some bad guys they had to fight off together…..
Yup, I was clueless.
Let us start with external and internal. Really simple. Don’t overthink it.
External is Tangible. It is physical in some way. It is Outer.
Internal is Intangible. It’s not physical. It’s our thoughts, emotions, guts. It is Inner.
Now let’s move onto GMC.
For starters her goals needs to be specific. She is going to need internal and external ones.
External goal -she wants to get away from her uncle who plans to wed her off to someone of his choice.
Internal goal– she doesn’t want to be like the other unhappily married women she has met.
Motivation has to be both also.
External motivation is that the man her uncle chose only wants her for her dowry that he will split with her uncle.
Her internal motivation is that her parents loved each other and she wants that. That want and all it represented is her motivation.
It is the deeper reason why she does the things she does or doesn’t do. The driving factor of internal can be positive or negative.
It is the inner core, the inner strengths, the inner weaknesses and faults.Our characters usually do not want to admit their internal motivations out loud, or sometimes don’t even recognize them.
It is the thing no one can take away from our characters, the thing they may stray from but always come back to. That thing that no matter what happens, they will choose that path. Until they choose not to choose that path.
As she encounters external and internal conflicts her growth happens. Mad cows, pretty cloths, dream guys, fears, insecurities, rotting corpses will not stop her. She may run from the cow, buy the dress, fool around with the guy, wallow in her fears, but it’s a temporary thing.
She is on a mission! The internal motivation is why she has the guts and strength to reach her external and internal goals and to overcome her conflicts. It is also why she makes huge mistakes, which creates more conflicts she has to deal with. She has to fight the bad guys, and her internal demons too so she can get to the end.
Love is what happens along the way, it is the genre.