Thursday, February 22, 2018

My Journey to a Book Contract - Part 4 Master GMC and MRU's

by Elva Cobb Martin

We continue "My Journey to a Book Contract" and honing your craft. This is Part 4. You can access Parts 1-3 in our archives.

Master “Goals, Motivation, and Conflict” 
(check out a great book with same title by Debra Dixon)

Your hero, heroine and even other characters should have a:
        Goal – What they want
        Motivation – Why they want it
        Conflict – The why not (what stands in their way)
   Internal and External Needs evolve into Goals, Motivation, Conflict which drive the story.
           Carolyn Greene says inner conflict is what gives characters’ something to think about.
           External conflict propels the plot and gives characters something to do.
           Inner needs can be universal and intangible: respect, acceptance, security, safety, love
           External needs should be tangible and resolvable:  justice, revenge, the truth, job promotion   

Kirsten Arnold wrote on a Seekerville blog comment her idea at Internal and external GMC & logline. Here it goes.

Log Line/Pitch: A rugged Alaskan hunting guide must save the younger brother of the woman he loves while learning to accept the forgiveness that can set him free and open the door to love and life.
Who: Cooper Maitland: Alaskan outfitter/hunting guide

External GMC: Cooper wants to help the FBI catch drug traffickers operating as Alaskan fishermen, and save Bryce Wallace the kid brother of McAye Wallace the woman Cooper loves.
Internal GMC: Cooper wants to forgive himself and accept God’s forgiveness for the terrible mistake he made that cost McAye’s sister her life. His love for McAye stands in the way, because it serves as a constant reminder of his past and keeps him mired in guilt.

Master MRU’s - Motivation Reaction Units

(Should be in this order but don’t have to include all 4)

  1) Physical or gut level
  2) Thought
  3) dialog (can be combined with action)
  4) action

Incorrect Order (example from my draft of Summer of Deception)
Rachel looked at him for a long moment. First the housekeeper, now this man. Wasn’t anyone expecting her? A sting shot through her empty stomach. But she shook off her uneasiness. Everything could be cleared up in two seconds. She dug in her handbag. “Mr. Barrett offered me a summer position. I have his note here.”

Corrected Order
A sting shot through Rachel’s empty stomach. Wasn’t anyone expecting her? First the housekeeper, now this man. She looked at him a long moment and cast off her uneasiness. Everything could be cleared up in two seconds. “Mr. Barrett offered me a summer position. I have his note here.” She dug in her handbag.

What helped you master GMC or MRU's? Please leave a comment and share this blog on your social media by clicking on the icons below.

Be blessed today,

Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels contracted with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. Jim Hart of Hartline Literary represents her. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in Anderson, South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site,on her blog at ,
Twitter; Facebook;  and Pinterest
Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon:

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