Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Deb Dixon...the Queen of GMC

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to take a road trip to Naples, Florida to attend Deb Dixon’s “Book in a Day” Conference. It was all about GMC or "Goal, Motivation and Conflict", which is the bedrock of genre fiction writing. 

I ended up getting one of the best writer tips I’ve ever heard. It's a tool to use when you’re stuck or struggling with how to start a scene. The lesson has you answer specific questions in the point of view of the character.

1. What do I see before me?
2. What do I feel?
3. What do I hear?
4. What do I smell?
5. What do I taste?
6. What’s the light like? (sunny, cloudy, fluorescent light, dark)
7. What is it that I want?
8. What do I think?
9. What happens next?
10. What do I do?

HOLY COW!!! It’s so simple, but so effective. I’ve been struggling with the opening of Book 2 in my Heiress Games series for a long time. I even skipped ahead and started working on Book 3. Well, I finally got an idea and applied the questions. And IT WORKED.

Here are the questions with my answers.

Q: What do I see before me?
Killian: Sexy red thong on the floor just inside the front door.

Q: What do I feel?
Killian: Confusion

Q: What do I hear?
Killian: One of Jackson’s “making love” songs is playing on the surround sounds speakers. (Jackson is his best friend, a singer)

Q: What do I smell? 
Killian: Rain coming in on the breeze with the storm clouds

Q: What’s the light like?
Killian: Dark, swirling clouds behind me. Bright artificial light in front.

Q: What is it that I want?
Killian: To find out where the panties came from.

Q: What do I think?
Killian: I think my teenage son hasn’t learned a lesson yet.

Q: What do you do?
Killian: I set out to teach the lesson, once and for all.

AND here is the opening scene...

Killian Rafael de los Santos O’Connor spotted the panties the moment he walked in the door. How could he not? The bright red thong lay against the gleaming marble tile in the foyer like a tiny cape meant to entice a bull.  
He stared down at skimpy piece of fabric, as a thousand questions racing through his mind.
Where had it come from? Why had some woman dropped her panties by the door? How had the fool women managed to get past, not only the massive gates that guarded his property, but inside the house? Where was she now? And even more important…where was his 'son' now?
A roiling bank of dark clouds was approaching at Killian’s back, bringing the humid scent of a summer storm. The clouds were already obscuring the sun, turning the sky from a glorious blue to furious grey ready to unleash a downpour.
Which seemed pretty fitting since Killian was about to unleash holy terror on the most likely culprit of today’s crime…his fifteen-year-old son, Rafe. 

I have to admit, I fell a little in love with Killian right there. So thanks to Deb Dixon for that.


  1. That was a worthwhile road trip, Kristin. I love the scene!

  2. Lovely scene! The tips/questions are great too. I'm writing them down write now and planning to use them. Thanks!