“Motivation” and a Giveaway by Mona Karel

For the chance to win a free e-copy of Teach Me To Forget by Mona Karel, please leave a comment on this post with your email address included in the body of the comment. This giveaway will end at 3 PM (EST) on June 30.

I’m in the early stages of a wonderful workshop, Making GMC Work For You.  As a long time seat of the pants writer, the idea of planning out my book in detail in advance frightens me. I’ve done it once or twice and never got around to finishing that particular book.  Possibly this is a component of my character. I know people who plan down to the smallest detail. I tend to take a big picture approach, and for years have relied on my ability to work my way through pretty much anything.

I managed to write by thinking out the story in broad terms, then sitting down and writing it.  Maybe there was some subconscious GMC going on but not for the first ones since I didn’t even hear about Goal, Motivation, Conflict until several years after I typed “The End” on my first book.  Then again, that book’s pretty weak so maybe I shouldn’t brag too much about it.

Deb Dixon spoke at OCC (Orange County Chapter RWA) while I was a member, and while she was in front of the room it all made a lot of sense.

We don’t need to discuss how many year’s it’s been since then, or how many books I’ve written, half written, or discarded when they became too hard to deal with. I never quite gave up the idea of sharing more stories with the world, whether they were wanted or not.  Occasionally I’d pull one of the completed stories out of the computer’s vault and work on it a bit. Once I pitched a publisher at a local writer’s workshop. I got a “sounds interesting send it.”  Then the inevitable “the idea is good, the writing is weak.”  Back into the vault it went.

Until the day I saw a teaser post about a start up publishing house “actively” seeking manuscripts.  I’d made myself join writer’s groups and try to participate in the social as well as working forums.  Why not, I thought?  So I did, they did, and my first book was published.  Then my second one.  And if things go well, my third one.  If, that is, I can get the darned thing written.  Seat of the pants works but the revisions and edits are a bear!  Which brings us back to Goal, Motivation, Conflict.  What does my character want, why does she want it, and what’s going to stop her from getting it?

And–it’s helping.  Those dead ends I kept running into are clearing into open roads and I’m seeing how to avoid the places where my heroine floundered around emoting.  I’m not quite ready to turn in my seat for a story board but stranger things have happened.

I just keep remembering that scene in “Galaxy Quest” when the captain (Tim Allen) was being attacked by a huge rock creature, and he’s asking his science officer (Alan Rickman) for some help.  Rickman, the classic actor playing an alien, says: “What’s his motivation?”

What about you, do you have a motivation?  One lucky commenter will receive a electronic copy of Teach Me To Forget.

I remember writing a terribly earnest Gothic romance when I was in my teens, including the obligatory white nightgown in the portrait gallery scene. Fortunately my mother was efficient about cleaning out excess papers, and that story went the way of the dodo. I read voraciously but didn’t get back to real writing until my mid thirties when I discovered romance books and realized I had found my literary home. What I write stems from my characters. Arguments, actions, love scenes all stem from who they are. I suppose for me writing is like acting, without having to diet or put on make up. I hope you enjoy my stories as much as I enjoy writing them.

In my one of my other lives, we bailed out of  Southern California in 2006, relocating to the New Mexico windswept high plains where we delight in watching our dogs run in the fields.  At first we took photos of every sunset, now it’s just another day in paradise.  Another wonderful day.  I work part time for a solar related firm and write whenever I’m not working dogs or gardening or cooking or ignoring the dirty house.

Her past was behind her…or so she’d thought.

Bethany Acton has come a long way from the day she was an abused child-bride of a dissolute jet setter. Now divorced and single, she writes for a lifestyles magazine, lives out of her motor home, and answers only to her boss—when he can find her. She has overcome her horrendous past and taken control of her own life. But when Jonathan Merritt, a rising star in wildlife photography, enters her world, she learns that control is a tenuous thing.

His past was despicable, but it hasn’t affected his future…until now.

Jonathan knows he has met the woman with whom he wants to spend his future, but first he must admit his role in her past. Afraid the truth will turn her against him, he tries to gain her trust and affection before confessing. But the longer he hesitates, the harder it becomes to tell her. Can Jonathan gain her love soon enough to forgive what he did, or will his past indiscretions destroy his only chance at happiness?


About Lisa Taylor

Hello! I'm an author, and in my time as an author I've realized that there are thousands of authors out there that just don't get the attention they deserve. So I'm hosting this "Writer's Block Party" so you can get to know the people that create the stories we all love!
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5 Responses to “Motivation” and a Giveaway by Mona Karel

  1. Mona, that sounds like a wonderful class. To think I almost signed up for it but forgot. 😦 I, too, am a certified (certifiable?) pantser, who is learning some new methods to help me arrange the whirlwind of my ideas.

    What’s my motivation? For writing? Or for life in general? For life, my motivation is my kids–to raise them healthy and happy and set them on their feet before I kick them out the door. Er, um, send them out to the world. 🙂 For writing, my motivation is purely selfish, although my husband has found out that since I “rediscovered” my love of writing, a writing Lynne is a happy Lynne is a happy hubby. When I don’t write, I feel a deep sense of loss and emptiness, so I guess my motivation is to fill my emotional well.

    Lynne Kensington

  2. Sounds like a great way of moving forward. I’m about to start a sequel to Morgan’s Choice but I’ve been procrastinating because I don’t know how to begin. GMC eh? I’ll see how it goes. Thanks.

  3. jvclough says:

    The reason I write today is because I can’t imagine doing anything else. Almost always–even on my worst days–writing is the only time where everything negative goes out the window and I know I’m doing exactly what I should be.
    And I can relate to the seat of the pants approach. For me there’s no faster way of killing a story than outlining it. Instead, I come up with a situation, get a handle on the characters, mentally map out a few events I’ll have to write in order to tell the story, then I write. Sometimes this works right from the start, sometimes that second draft is a monster.
    Either way, leaving myself room to be surprised as I compose is the only way I can tell a story. When things go off the rails, I just remind myself of Hemmingway’s opinion of first drafts, let my initial attempt stink and have faith I’ll get it right during round two.

  4. MonaKarel says:

    Thanks for dropping by, folks. Looks like the contest’s coming to an end soon!

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