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Using GMC: Diana

Here’s what happened when I released my stubborn hold on who I thought my characters were.

I asked my heroine why she didn’t want to run the family gun shop. (Yes, I talked to her.  I was a little cautious about it because the notion’s kinda kooky, and I really didn’t want my kids to hear me talking to myself, so I whispered. LOL )

It works!
I asked, and she told me, “Look. I’m spending every day with my mom and she’s driving me nuts. I have to find the missing paperwork pronto or the ATF’s gonna shut her down and guess where she’ll be living?  No way, sister.  I love my mom, but I need my privacy.”

So, in the interest of showing you how I used Debra Dixon’s book, I’ll share Diana’s character info.  It still needs work, but wow! After doing her GMC chart and those of three other characters, not only was I able to write my first chapter, I knew where I was going!

NAME : Diana (gun shop co-owner/teacher) Paints every spare minute she has. Mockingbird is totem

WHO SHE IS: a self-deluding paper tiger (tough on the outside, scared within)

WHAT SHE WANTS: Starter goal:   has to find missing logbook. Get thru ATF audit. Bigger: Own her own art studio. Express herself via painting.  Keep shop from being closed.

BECAUSE: 1. Logbook has info for ATF search phone call.  2. ATF doing audit. 3. She doesn’t want her mother living with her. 4. she wants to get back to her private life

BUT: Can’t find logbook. Her mother lost additional ppw.  Her mother needs her in the gun shop. (obviously!)

INTERNAL WANTS: needs to please. Then :  to know herself;  to be regarded as ‘real’ artist; autonomy

BECAUSE: It’ll make her feel important; like she’s contributing something to the world; she’ll be expressing herself

BUT: She’s afraid:  of failure, of creating garbage, of the unknown. She doesn’t believe she has the talent; won’t put her art on display. And she’s worried her mother won’t be able to run the shop effectively by herself.

My hero’s character info is still missing the internal want/need, but I was still able to write the first chapter because I had his external want pretty clear in my head.  I’ll be tweaking both as I go.

You see how nowhere in Diana’s goals is there a wish to fall in love?  Falling in love is what happens as she’s pursuing her goals.  If falling in love were her goal, I think she’d be a weak and boring character.  I want her to have an interesting life that she ultimately invites the hero –and the reader–into.

Same goes for the hero, Mark.  His immediate desire is to plop down in his easy chair and read a book he’s been itching to read for several days but hasn’t had time for.  Problem is, his 5-year-old nephew is having trouble getting to sleep because his mother’s recently been killed in an accident.  It’s a simple conflict, and it will grow into something bigger as the story progresses.

Romance Authors’ Pseudonyms: Did you know…?

Many of today’s hottest romance and romantic suspense authors wrote for Harlequin, Silhouette, Kismet, Candlelight, Gallen, McFadden, and Loveswept, among others. However, they didn’t all use the names they’re currently writing under.

NOTE: Many of the links are to used books; they will likely expire because these are collectible. Many of the links are to searches in If no books are listed, it’s because they’re just that hard to find. My apologies in advance for this.

You may already know that Sandra Brown wrote under the names Erin St. Clair and Rachel Ryan, but did you know she also wrote under the name Laura Jordan?
Two titles I know of were written for the Gallen line:

  • The Silken Web, and
  • Hidden Fires.

Another, Roses at Dawn, was written for Kensington.

I’m still looking to see if she wrote under than name for anyone else 🙂

Diana Palmer also has had several pseudonyms, and she wrote several romances for the McFadden line of books, which is currently difficult to find (and sometimes expensive.)
Her other names:

If you’re a fan of the Dark Shadows series by Marilyn Ross, you might be interested in knowing that author’s pseudonyms (and guess what, it’s a guy). Marilyn Ross is W.E. Daniel Ross:

  • Leslie Ames
  • Marilyn Carter
  • Ann Gilmer
  • Miriam Leslie
  • Diana Randall
  • Ellen Randolph
  • Clarissa Ross
  • Dan Ross
  • Jane Rossiter
  • Rose Williams

If you follow Elizabeth Lowell, you probably know she has also written under the name Ann Maxwell, as well as A.E. Maxwell. But did you know she wrote under the name Annalise Sun? 🙂

Other pseudonyms you may be interested in:

These authors may have other pseudonyms I haven’t found yet–if you know of any, feel free to leave a comment. 🙂
REMINDER: Many of the links are to used books; they will likely expire because these are collectible. Again, I apologize for this.

Of course, there are tons of other authors I haven’t mentioned. If you’re interested in one that isn’t here, email me your question and I’ll check my references.


A day in the life of a writer: Charting GMC

I went to Debra Dixon‘s talk at the monthly meeting of San Diego’s chapter of RWA. My novel has been stuck in chapter one because I haven’t properly charted out the GMC of the characters. Today I’m charting three characters:
hero: Mark
heroine: Diana
heroine’s mother: Betsy.

GMC stands for Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. Dixon says the ideas she presents are not new, but I think her book’s the only one of its kind. You can find it here:

Finally realized that the reason I’ve been struggling with Diana and Betsy is that their relationship is enmeshed.  Funny how characters try to tell you things and you just don’t listen.

this story’s been wanting to come out its own way and I’ve been trying to force it into a tiny box.

Diana is not talking to me, but Mark has spilled his guts, and so has Betsy.