My historical romance, "Forbidden Love," centers around an actual event, the Homestead Steel Strike of 1892. My heroine, Lisa, is an only child of well-to-do parents, living in an affluent neighborhood on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. When Lisa's father dies, he leaves his widow and daughter with many debts, on the verge of poverty. This circumstance leads to Lisa's outer GMC.
When William, a wealthy stockbroker, offers Lisa marriage, she accepts, even though she doesn't love him. She sees the marriage as a means to save her mother from poverty, else it would be necessary to sell the family home.
Now we see Lisa's inner GMC. As the name implies, an inner GMC is emotional, from deep inside.
Lisa belongs to a literary club, and there she meets Owen. Immediately drawn to him, she fights her attraction, still hoping she will come to love William and hoping to achieve a happy marriage. But William continues to spurn her advances, apparently satisfied with a loveless marriage and needing Lisa only as a trophy wife.
Here we see that a protagonist's goals can change throughout one's story. Indeed, your hero/heroine may have more than one goal.
Goal: To get out of the steel business. He wants to attend the university and become a civil engineer.
Conflict: College is expensive and money is tight. He knows that a strike is imminent at the Homestead mill and will lead to a further depletion of his savings.
Deeply attracted to Lisa, he realizes she's a married lady and far above his station. With no way of knowing otherwise, he assumes she's happily married and that her husband loves her very much. So what is his inner GMC?
Before you begin a novel/novella, it's a good idea to create GMC charts, outer and inner, for your protagonists. And make sure you have plenty of conflict!
"Historical romance at its finest," Julie Bonello at eCataRomance
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