I'm going to share this in the hopes that it can help someone else. I'm by no means a expert, but when I find something that works so well for me, I like to share.
Also, I need to preface this post with a few disclaimers:
- I write short category romance which means a tight word count(~50K). Although I expect that every romance needs all three GMCs per character, it's imperative for my process that I know all three GMC before I start writing if I don't want to waste lots of time with revision.
- On the Plotter/Pantser scale(At least today), I'm about 70/30, leaning toward plotter. If you're a pantser, I think it can be helpful if you can define these things before you start writing.
- This might not be the thing you want to send to your editor if you're still uncontracted. But I personally am using this as part of my new-book-starter-kit... since it helps me envision the book enough that I have a good foundation before I start writing. Makes it easier for me. As with all writing advice, Your Mileage May Vary.
- If you're unfamiliar with the concept of GMC(Goal/Motivation/Conflict), Deb Dixon's book is now available in e-format.
Like almost every writer I've met, I have harbored an intense loathing of writing synopses. Before my current project, when I've started a new book, I've written (at best) a three page synopsis for my editor for proposal. And they were quite rambling things.
Old Synopsis Format
- First two pages: Heroine and Hero's backgrounds, focusing on formative moments to explain Internal and External GMC. (Note: only 2 types of GMC focused on here)
- Third page: How the story started. And usually I could give at least three chapters worth of stuff... how I saw the story beginning.
- That synopsis format always ended with me flailing and an announcement to the effect of: THERE WILL BE A BLACK MOMENT AND HAPPILY EVER AFTER, BUT THAT'S ALL I KNOW RIGHT NOW. I'M SORRY. (I'm neurotic, I apologize for everything.)
New Synopsis Format
- First Page: The Quick Backgrounds page. Where each character comes from, what kind of personalities they have, what they're doing at the start of the story. Not really a place for the GMC's. Quick means quick. Short. A couple single spaced paragraphs. If there is anything else of note(like pertaining to the External plot), I give it a quick background too.
- Second and Third pages: A single chart that lists the GMC for Internal, External and Romantic threads for each character.
- Fourth+ pages will be in tomorrow's post! And it will make pantsers want to scrub their brains, no doubt... but it's part of my own personal new synopsis glee.
|3 GMC Chart