14 April 2012

A-Z Challenge Day 13 - M


M is for

Motivation and ... Muddleheadedness!

Debra Dixon's book GMC came to my notice long after I'd started writing.  In it the author creates--no, I'll share the blurb, it says it better than I can..
"Goal, Motivation & Conflict will show you how to use these three key elements to give dimension to your characters and direction to your plot. It will help you plan a road map to keep your story on track, discover why your scenes aren't working and how to fix them, create characters that editors and readers will care about, be confident your idea will work before you write 200 pages, end sagging middles and much more. Clear and concise with many helpful examples."

I doesn't matter how long or short your story, nor does genre make any difference, every piece of writing offered for public reading must have these ingrediant.  (Even, to some degree, the most dusty piece of technical or informational writing offered.)

Goals are where you want to go, the direction your plot and characters will take to achieve their dreams.
Motivation is the incentive that drives both forward.
Conflict, as the word implies, is what the author keeps dropping into the story to bring the characters alive.

And the author must have all three clearly set out in their head when they start writing!

You would think os, wouldn't you, but what about authors, such as myself?  those who call themselves 'pansters'.  Do they have neat lists of how what when and where pasted to their timesheet on the wall in front of them.  certainly, I don't, which comes to my 2nd 'M'!


How can a pantser possibly use Goal, Motivation and Conflict if they have no forward planning?  Like most things, 'practice makes perfect.'  Well perhaps not, but you know what I mean.

They become three more tools that eventually become such an integral part of writing the pantser instinctively knows when their story is running off the rails.
That doesn' mean they won't persever on their original course, but it does mean that eventually they will probably have to backtrack and restart from where they deviated from the 'right' path.

While every plotter reading this will sigh in exasperation and pity the 'poor deluded pantser,'who if only they could organise themselves better they wouldn't keep derailing themselves;'  the pantser considers it the breath of life (admittedly ,annoying at times,) that often reveals the mssing spark in their GMC up to that point.

There are many routes to the same destination, and it is the result that matters.

So bring on Motivation -and- Muddleheadedness!

There are nearly 1900 participants this year and you'll find a list HERE


Masquerade Crew said...

Great tips for writers. We're doing something similar for our A to Z Challenge. We're posting articles writen by guest bloggers.

Paula Martin said...

Love this statement: "tools that eventually become such an integral part of writing the pantser instinctively knows when their story is running off the rails."
I got to chap 13 when I realised this was happening with mine. so I backtracked to Chapter 7 and am in process of catching up again!
All the plotting in the world couldn't have told me what my characters were telling me by the time I got to Chap 13! Therefore I shall remain a muddle-headed pantser!

Sherry Gloag said...

Masquerade Crew :-) What a great idea. I didn't discover A-Z in time to plan, and probably wouldn't have anyway, but I will try to remember this for next year!!
Loved the tips.

Sherry Gloag said...

:-) Paula, I'm glad I'm not the only one who writes themselves into a dark tunnel of misdirection.
My Regency, No Job For a Woman that SCP have just accepted took two years to 'come good!' LOL

Sarah Ballance said...

I've noticed when I take a wrong turn I tend to stall. When I get back up and get back on track, the words fly. I'm self-regulating, I guess. LOL. Great post!

Francene Stanley said...

I write all of the above. I did write one really bad panster, where a writing buddy had to lift me by the scruff of the coller and haul me back on track. That taught me a lot. I'd wasted hours of work. hehe.


Sherry Gloag said...

:-) Thanks for coming by Sarah, It took me two years to complete my then 'experimental regency story' because I got the time line all wrong and was too close to see it.

Sherry Gloag said...

Francene, there are days I KNOW what I'm writing is rubish, but then, when I look back at it there are a few kernels of info in there I can often use. :-)