Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Goals Motivation, Conflict: The Building Blocks of Good Fiction Book Recommendation #2
"This modern how-to classic by National bestselling and award-winning author Debra Dixon has become a must-have for beginning and experienced writers. The author helps you know if your idea will work, plan a road map to keep your story on track, discover why you scenes aren't working and what to do about it, create characters that editors and readers will care about, and write a dynamite query letter to an editor. Complete with charts and examples from well-known books and movies.
goal, motivation, conflict, sagging middles, writing, fiction, plot, query letter, scene"
I rarely read craft books. Don't get me wrong, I buy them all the time. I just rarely actually finish them. This is the second craft book I've read cover to cover. The other is "On Writing" and I find this one more helpful. I bought this book at a workshop hosted by Debra Dixon, the author. She explained GMC thoroughly that day, but I find the book more helpful. Partly because you can do it at your own pace, but also because each step is explained in detail. GMC is primarily a plotting tool, but the book explains how you can use it for characterization too. I strongly recommend this book. For a new writer, it's about the same length and as easy to read as "On Writing" which people tend to recommend when you start your writing career. But it offers more actual writing advice. On Writing is more motivational than anything. GMC explains how a plot should work, how conflict should work, and the character's story goal. I do think there are things an experienced writer can gain from GMC as well. While I still prefer the three act structure for plotting, and I've never had to work at characterization, I liked that GMC gave me another way to look at things. Also, I think it's helpful to know because many publishing professionals use GMC. I do think that by thinking about my MC's goal up front I can add a layer to my stories. However, I think this book sales for about $125. That's a lot considering how little writers make, so I recommend buying it from a workshop (RWA cons often sell it for $25) or getting it from a library.