Friday, February 16, 2024

Goal, Motivation, and Conflict--How it Keeps the Reader Glued to your Story By Connie Vines #RR, WritingTips

Thank you, Skye, for this month's Round Robin Topic."

Goal, Motivation, and Conflict - The difference between inner and outer conflict and how it keeps the reader glued to your story.

As a member of Romance Writers of America and the Orange County Chapter, I found Debra Dixon's workshop on this topic incredibly helpful. Her book, Goal, Motivation & Conflict, is my go-to reference when plotting my novels.

Debra recommends using 3 x 5 cards and sticky notes to keep track of these elements and placing them on a paper sheet to move them around if needed. Personally, I tend to scribble on scraps of paper or dictate into my iPhone and send it to my email. 

I'll add it to one of my six Steno Pads if I'm at my desk. It may not be as tidy as Debra's way, but it keeps me from losing my ideas.

Remember, the goal is what your characters are all about. 

Recommended movies to watch: Wizard of Oz, The Fugitive (Harrison Ford), 

đź“ŚActive Goals/Sense of Urgency.

đź“ŚMotivation is the Why.

đź“ŚConflict is often the character's emotional roadblock. The strength of your book is the conflict.

LadyHawk defines romance conflict/active goals for me.

While I could go into more detail on why I find this book a must-have for every writer, my best suggestion is to order a copy for your library.

Debra Dixon's book is also available as an ebook and listed at Barnes and Noble. 

Thank you for stopping by today.

Please visit the marvelous writers participating in this month's Blog Hop :)


Dr. Bob Rich 

Anne Stenhouse

Victoria Chatham

Connie Vines

Helena Fairfax

Diane Bator

Skye Taylor



  1. Like you, Debra Dixon's Goal, Motivation, Conflict is a go-to reference on my writers shelf. Her workshop taught me so much. I did try the post-it/index card plan but I ended up using a business size spiral notebook for each novel. I tab it with sticky tabs and one whole section is conflicts, resolutions and more conflicts. But each of us has a system that works to keep GMC alive and well.

  2. Agreed, Debra Dixon is a great presenter and her GMC workshop and book offer so much. I find notebooks work best for me, too, but like your idea of sticky tabs. I'll have to try that.


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