GMC Workshop Enlightens Writers

Debra Dixon, author of GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict, presented an abbreviated version of her three-hour GMC workshop to Dragon*Con writers. Featuring principles explained in her book, Dixon fielded questions and outlined her “who, what, why, and why not” approach to writing fiction, drawing on examples from The Wizard of Oz and other well-known movies. Dixon stressed that conflict was especially important in mass-market commercial fiction.

Stressing both “outer” and “inner” GMC’s, Dixon noted that looking at external and internal aspects of each component within smaller scenes and sections of fiction helped with pacing and could provide a sense of urgency. She added that the writer should pull pieces of the characters’ experiences together into one tapestry using conflict to test the characters and give them a chance to grow. Dixon cautioned beginning writers not to leave open the central conflict of their stories, stating that it was important to leave the reader with a satisfying ending.

Additional information on Dixon’s book and other writing aids is available at GryphonBooksforWriters.

Author of the article

Amy L. Herring (Louise Herring-Jones) writes speculative fiction, with a preference for historical fantasy and alternate mystery. Her stories, appearing in fourteen anthologies, include “The Poulterer’s Tale” in God Bless Us, Every One—Christmas Carols beyond Dickens (Voodoo Rumors Media, 2019). Amy is a NaNoWriMo co-municipal liaison. She also coordinates the Huntsville (Alabama) Literary Association’s writers’ group. Visit her online at