At most author conferences and writer chats, the term GMC is prevalent. GMC=Goal/Motivation/Conflict and it’s essentially the reason for any story. What is the protagonist’s goal? What motivates him to achieve that goal? What gets in her way? In the Red Rising trilogy (http://www.amazon.com/Red-Rising-Trilogy-Book/dp/B0159URANK/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1464993617&sr=8-4&keywords=Red+Rising+Trilogy) by Pierce Brown is an excellent study in Goal/Motivation/Conflict for any author.
Darrow begins the series as a slave, though he doesn’t realize it yet. The hierarchy of the story’s civilization spans from Gold at the apex to Red at the bottom, holding the society up on the backs of their labor. Darrow is a red in the mines of Lykos, drilling for his unseen masters.
For a stolen moment of bliss, Darrow and his waifish wife, Eo find themselves in trouble with the peacekeepers. They are whipped and in a moment of sacrifice, Eo sings a forbidden song of freedom and is hanged. Grief-stricken, Darrow defies the law to bury his beloved wife, earning his own death sentence. Only Darrow doesn’t die—a rebel group fakes his death to recruit him for a mission. Darrow will be carved and reshaped into a Gold so that he can take down the system from within. This is the overarching goal of the book. Initially, the motivation is Eo’s dream of breaking their chains. Throughout the series, that motivation morphs and changes as Eo’s death recedes farther into the past.
Conflict abounds in this series, but one of the most interesting ways it manifests itself is within Darrow himself. As he pushes himself through the rigors of the Institute, training to be a Gold, he makes friends. How can he be friends with his enemy? How can he lie about even his fundamental nature to his friends? As he gets closer to those around him, he finds that the world isn’t all black and white (or gold and red). There are good Golds, and probably bad Reds. Obsidian slaves aren’t the mindless monsters that society makes them out to be. Pinks, Oranges, Blues—there are countless subtle levels of subjugation and by achieving his goal, he will send the universe into chaos and destruction. But once everything is destroyed, how will they rebuild their new worlds?
Good at heart, Darrow is forced to make cut throat alliances and huge sacrifices to support his end game, but at what cost?
Throughout the series, the goal remains the same – but it’s the changes in motivation, the conflict and how they affect the characters we’ve identified with that make the series so compelling. If you like Sci-Fi, or you want to see how a well-crafted series works, this is a great set of books to learn from.
Coming June 27th from Dreamspinner Press
Aaron Downing worshiped his mother. She saved his life. She did everything for him. But Anthony Downing has a different perspective. He sees the woman who tossed him into a basement for eight long years and forgot he existed. When Anthony decides he’s done being invisible, he packs up and heads for Detroit to stay with his Internet friend Jay, but fate intervenes.
Brendan Mears lost everything the day the man with a gun came into his father’s store. Now, he’s tethered to a business he can’t manage and a brother who resents him.
Different in all the ways that matter, Anthony and Brendan struggle to overcome their psychological obstacles, until a crushing betrayal sends them running for cover and each other.