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GMC & the Hero’s Journey

GMC CoverMention “GMC” to a veteran romance writer, and she’ll instantly know you’re talking about “Goal, Motivation, Conflict”, three words made famous by author, editor, and teacher, Debra Dixon. In her 1996 book Goal, Motivation & Conflict, The Building Blocks of Good Fiction. Debra Dixon presents the key story concepts to nail down before you plot (if you’re a plotter), or revise (if you’re a pantser).

Here’s what some of our workshop presenters have to say about Debra Dixon and GMC:

I’m a pantser, so I start writing as soon as the characters start talking and in the first couple thousand words I’m learning about my characters as well as writing their story. With every book, I go back to GMC and review internal and external goals, motivations, and conflicts to get a handle on my characters and what the emotional engine is that will drive their story forward. I love GMC, I can’t imagine writing a book without it! 

Maggie Marr, Author of Eligible Billionaires, The Travati Family Series, and President of Los Angeles Romance Authors

My favorite craft book of all time is Debra Dixon’s GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. I’ve purchased it many times to give to friends who wanted to pursue a fiction writing career, including 3 college students. I joined RWA in 1996 and learned to write fiction through a lot of amazing workshops, but it wasn’t until I heard Debra speak that everything finally clicked. 

Judy Duarte, Harlequin Author of fifty romance novels

I read GMC before, during, and after a writing project. Her simple but effective techniques help me stay on track and remember what is most important to my story. Deb Dixon is a rock star and I’m beyond excited to learn from her in person.

Libby Waterford, Author of the Weston University Series

We are SO excited to have Debra leading our 2017 California Dreamin’ Writers’ Conference Book Camp! In this one-day interactive workshop, she will expand her teaching on GMC to include the Hero’s Journey.  In her own words, “the workshop provides all the tools a writer needs to pull a book together.” GMC is not just for romance fiction—it applies to all dramatic structure, and like the rest of the conference, Friday’s Book Camp welcomes writers of all genres. This will be a rare west coast appearance for her, and the perfect opportunity to learn from a master.

Book Camp will be held Friday, March 24, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the conference hotel, The Embassy Suites in Brea, California, and includes a box lunch.  Registration for Book Camp only is $99 at the conference website.

If you’ve already registered for the conference and didn’t include the Book Camp, you can still add it on for $75, by visiting the Change Registration page.

We can’t stress enough how important it is for you to register for Book Camp early! With such a popular speaker we expect Book Camp to sell out before the end of registration. If you want to attend, registration is the only way to guarantee your seat.


Alina K. Field hails from the Midwest, but now lives in sunny Southern California. She is the author of the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best novella winner Rosalyn’s Ring, and the novel-length sequel, a 2015 RONE Award finalist, Bella’s Band. Her most recent release is Liliana’s Letter, a Regency novella and 2016 National Readers’ Choice Award finalist.

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