I do like Debra Dixon’s GCM method, but it’s not quite enough for me. Tonight, I think I found the perfect mix. Referring back to the Emotional Toolbox, I have a notebook page for each character that looks something like this:
- External Goal:
- External Motivation:
- External Conflict:
- Internal Goal:
- Internal Motivation:
- Internal Conflict:
- Fear, which ties directly to the internal GMC.
- Mask, which is displayed in the external GCM.
I know how the heroine will answer the hero’s fear and force him to yank aside his mask, and vice versa. Even better, the hero in Seven Crows will be forced to do that which he abhors the most in order to achieve his external goals, at least initially. Morghan’s (still playing with her name: Morgan, Morganna, and now Morghan, not sure what I’ll settle on yet) fear/goal, now that I look at it, isn’t quite as strong. So I’ll think on it and see if I can make something even worse.
To give every supporting character his/her own story, I’ll also take a day or so and jot down GMC for at least two other characters, the Queen and the hero’s best friend. Perhaps the heroine’s father, too. Although he won’t be on page at all, he’s very instrumental in setting her goals for this story.
Next: plotting. I already have several pages of possibilities jotted as I brainstormed backgrounds. I’m guessing I need about 20 sections, but I won’t have a good feel for individual section length until I begin writing. A typical section for me is usually between 4-6 pages, so 20 sections is right for word count. The POV may end up being first person. Not sure yet, but I think the hero’s SECRETS will come out better if Morghan–and the reader–are both in the dark.
NSR: 2099 words, all brand spanking new except for maybe a paragraph or two pasted in from the first draft. The new stuff is happening right at the midpoint of the novel, allowing me to not only worsen things for Jaid all around, but also giving me time to get the two new story threads in the States closer to convergence. I also went back and dropped a few other little touches that needed supporting evidence earlier in the story (not included in today’s word count).
I’m really liking Jaid a lot. She’s not the typical kickass sort of heroine so typical in contemporary/urban fantasy. She’s smart and gutsy, but the worst physical violence she might do is throw a massive tome at a bad guy’s head.
Snippet: truly first draft. Knightley is a shady mercenary acting as a “guard” at the compound; Dr. Reyes is from the Popol Vuh Museum in Antigua; Jaid and Ruin I’ve already mentioned. Some very bad things have happened in the peaceful little town of Santiago Atitlan, and Jaid finds herself trapped between very unhappy Guatemalan officials and the unknown “Venus Star” corporation.
Still gulping air, Jaid raised her head and stared at Knightley. He touched a Bluetooth headset at his ear and leveled his weapon at her. “I’ve got orders to take over this interrogation.”
“You can’t do that!” Reyes surged to his feet. The weapon swung over at him and he froze. “I’m here on behalf of the Guatemalan government. If you refuse my authority, we will kick you out of our country faster than–”
Reyes’ eyes flared. Jaid realized the comforting hand had left her back. She jerked her head around, searching for Ruin.
Silent and swift, he rushed the guard. Casually, Knightly whipped the gun toward him and fired.
She cried out, clamping her hands over ears, but there was no retort. The barely audible pop sounded like a party favor. Ruin went down like an elephant tagged by a high-powered rifle, though, instantly dropped in his tracks. He crashed into a table that shattered beneath his weight, slinging glass, fresh-cut flowers, and splinters flying.
Crying, Jaid stood to go to him, but the gun pointed back at her. Ruin gave one last twitch and went still. He was obviously dead: the back of his head had been blown away. She didn’t try to stop the acid boiling up her throat; instead, she aimed it at the guard’s legs.
“Son of a bitch,” Knightley growled. He cocked his arm back and the butt of his gun slammed into her head.