A Sparkling Guide to Gripping Goal, Motivation & Conflict

Course Dates: 30 Jan – 26 Feb 2017

Cost: RWA-Member – $30.00 Non RWA-Member – $80.00

Presenter: CT Green

Goal, Motivation, Conflict – GMC is often misunderstood or unknown to novice writers and sometimes overlooked by more experienced writers when crafting their characters.

For novice writers there will be comprehensive explanations of each element and how it applies to their characters/plot. For the more experienced writer we’ll be looking at applying GMC to secondary characters and villains and how this is as important in context as the Hero/Heroine’s GMC in driving the plot forward and how the GMC’s of each can be interwoven, separate or cause misunderstandings.

Participants will get to examine short pieces of work – looking for GMC, and analyse live action film for the more subtle visual elements which will expand their knowledge of GMC and can also be applied to their writing. They will get feedback on their understanding and application of each element of GMC as separate components, and as a whole.

We’ll also be discussing how to infer GMC through action, speech and backstory without info dumping. At the end of the course the attendee will be able to:

• Understand the benefit of strong GMC in character and plot development and recognise how these interlink.

• Use traits and characteristics to underline GMC.

• Develop/modify GMC through the narrative arc so the story makes sense/remains gripping for the reader.

• Develop a consistent rationale for each character’s Goals, Motivations and Conflicts.

Week 1: Goal – Apart from something shouted by footballers, what is it exactly? How does it apply to the characters in a story and how does it drive the narrative arc? How is Goal interlinked with Motivation and how can it cause Conflict? For advanced writers: Applying Goals to villains and secondary characters in order to give a story more depth and a unique perspective.

Week 2: Motivation – something we often struggle with. But what about characters? What motivates them towards their goals, each other, defeating the villain? How can motivation be shown without telling/info dumping a massive backstory? What is the motivation of the villain, apart from the old ‘Total World Domination’? How can the villain’s motivation galvanise the hero/heroine. What is the effect of a secondary character’s motivations on the Hero/Heroine/Villain/Plot?

Week 3: Conflict – romance stories are made of this. Otherwise we have the rather dull story of two people who fall in love, never argue/disagree and live happily ever after . . . while the villain recognises the wickedness of their ways and goes to counselling while working at an animal shelter. It’s all very nice, but doesn’t really give us a punchy story. How does conflict work? How do character’s goals and motivation cause or impact on conflict? Ways of looking at conflict to drive the story and how it may or may not be resolved.

Week 4: GMC – bringing it all together. Goals are obtained through motivation. Motivating factors can grow out of conflict, while the obtainment or seeking of a goal can cause conflict. Conflict can cause someone to be motivated to pursue a goal they’d never previously considered. Simple, and a logical part of fiction, but how does this combination apply to characters? How does it impact the story in the most intrinsic and elemental sense? The final week we take a deeper look at texts to fully understand how important these simple aspects are to any story.

About the presenter

CT-circleBefore becoming a writer…

Multi-award winning, New York published author C.T. Green worked in advertising for ten years before she became a writer. She has a Bachelor of Arts with majors in communication and literature. C.T. Green now lives in regional Australia with her husband, children and extensive collection of animals, including the world’s bossiest goldfish. In between writing, she reads, gardens, drinks Russian Caravan tea, kid wrangles, plays Skyrim and avoids the goldfish. She is a 2014 ARRA finalist for Favourite Paranormal Romance. You will find her here http://www.ctgreen-author.com/ at her author blog and at http://chevallum.wordpress.com.

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