Goal, Motivation, Conflict (GMC)

GMC is goal, motivation, and conflict.

This blog (why-i-love-deb-dixons-goal-motivation) sums it up like this:
It begins with WHO. Your character.
  • Goal = What (what they want)
  • Motivation = Why (why they want it)
  • Conflict = The Why Not (what stands in their way)
You listed character goals in the file you sent, but it might be good to list their motivation for that goal and the conflict that comes against it too. GMC can be broken down scene by scene. That’s helpful because you can see the specific stepwise goals, the motivations that drive them, and the conflict that comes against it in a glance. And be sure to think not only of a character’s external GMC but also their internal GMC.
A few more links, blog posts detailing GMC:
Hope that helps!


  • Dorothy’s external goal is to go back home to Kansas.
  • Her motivation/ urgency to get there is because her aunt is sick.
  • The conflict is that she has to do a number of things in order to return, including stealing the evil witch’s broom.

All these external elements tie to her internal ones:

  • her internal goal is to find her heart’s desire (initially thought it was a serene place with no trouble),
  • her motivation is that she is unhappy now,
  • the conflict is that she doesn’t know what she wants.

By the end of the book: she realizes there is no place like home… 

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