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Join MJ for a GMC Workshop. A peak under the hood reveals that you need a fine-tuned Goal, Motivation and Conflict if you want your characters to take off and wow your audience.
Goal can be said to be the outer or superficial layer of the plot, while Motivation is the deeper aspect that is about the Story, and Conflict is the opposing force or forces that draw out and reveal the underlying Motivation that propels the hero to the goal.
How does GMC apply to the main character in Lloyd Alexander’s “The Prydain Chronicles” series, Taran?
- Goal: Taran’s primary goal is to become a hero and prove himself worthy of being a great warrior. Throughout the series, he seeks to earn the respect and admiration of those around him, and to become a leader in the fight against the evil forces threatening Prydain.
- Motivation: Taran’s motivation for becoming a hero is rooted in his desire to protect the people he cares about and make a difference in the world. He is motivated by a deep sense of responsibility to use his skills and abilities to help others and fight for what is right.
- Conflict: Taran faces both internal and external conflict throughout the series. Internally, he struggles with doubts about his own abilities and fears that he may not be strong enough to achieve his goals. Externally, he faces numerous obstacles, including dangerous enemies, challenging quests, and difficult choices that test his resolve.
For example, in the first book of the series, “The Book of Three,” Taran sets out to find the missing pig Hen Wen, but he quickly becomes embroiled in a much larger conflict involving the evil Horned King and the magical artifact known as the Black Cauldron. Taran must face his own fears and doubts, as well as battles against powerful enemies and obstacles that threaten his life and the lives of those he cares about.
How does GMC apply to the main antagonist in JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, Voldemort?
- Goal: Voldemort’s main goal is to achieve immortality and ultimate power. He believes that he can only achieve this by becoming the most powerful wizard in the world and by creating a new order where those who are born with magical ability are superior to those without.
- Motivation: Voldemort’s motivation comes from his traumatic upbringing and his desire to escape from the poverty and oppression he experienced as a child. He believes that he was born to be great and that he is entitled to rule over others, which fuels his ambition and desire for power. Additionally, his belief in pure-blood supremacy is motivated by a desire to protect the magical world from what he sees as the dilution and corruption of magic by muggles and half-bloods.
- Conflict: Voldemort’s main conflicts arise from his desire for power and his belief in pure-blood supremacy. He faces opposition from those who seek to oppose him, particularly Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Additionally, his desire for immortality requires him to take extreme measures, such as creating Horcruxes, which brings him into conflict with others and puts him at risk.
BADDY FROM ARSENAL: FULL METAL SUPERHERO
How does GMC apply to the prime antagonist in Jeffrey A Haskell’s “Arsenal” series?
- Goal: Save the Earth from overwhelming alien invaders, by secretly taking over the world, including controlling dozens of superhumans
- Motivation: Self preservation. He thinks this is the only way to win against the aliens. He takes a utilitarian approach and is willing to sacrifice many for more
- Conflict: Amelia Lockheart who becomes Arsenal in order to find her parents and keeps on going as a professional Superhero because she wants to and can do good things, starts to uncover his plan as she investigates what happened to her parents.
Putting GMC to the Test
Do you have a favorite character motivation?
Can the same motivation lead a character to achieve different goals?
Can the same goals be reached by characters with different motivations?
Should you apply GMC to every character?
How is GMC different from Wants versus Needs?
Does applying GMC to villains make them better?
Is World Domination the most common Villain Goal?
Could a hero have the Goal of World Domination?
The Chronicles of Prydain
Voldemort from Harry Potter
Arsenal: Full Metal Superhero
The Chronicles of Prydain – Publisher | Amazon
Haskell – http://jefferyhhaskell.com/
Arsenal Series – https://tantor.com/series/full-metal-superhero.html