Sunday, May 27, 2012

May I tell you something about "The Snowflake Method" of writing?

Hey, all!  This is the last week of Blog Me MAYbe.  I loved it, but posting everyday has been brutal, lol.  I'm happy to be finishing up and I'm happy to have given you all something to read everyday of the month :D  Thanks for sticking with me!

So for today I'm supposed to share with you something about writing.  Well, here it goes:

Writing Fiction for Dummies

Meet my writing bible, haha!  No, but seriously it is.  Last year, I had a little concept for a book, (Which later became The Crimson Hunt by the way, tehe) but I had never written a book before.  So what did I do?  Went on a road trip to Barnes and Noble where I picked up this little baby!  From this book, I discovered there were several ways to write a book and out of all the ways I saw "The Snowflake Method" stuck out to me the most as the most efficient, yet un-creativity-stiffling way for me to write a novel with my type of personality.

He and his co-author, Peter Economy, authored Writing Fiction for Dummies, but Randy himself is the one that came up with "The Snowflake Method" of writing.

What is "The Snowflake Method"?  Well, it's a style of writing just like Seat of Your Pants Writing or Outlining.  "Snowflake" actually combines both of these techniques.

Story World and Characters/ Story Line

You start by creating the "Story World," or setting, of your novel, then creating your characters and giving them backstories and goals/motivations that go with those backstories.  From there, you create a storyline such as: 

"A lonely, outcasted young woman falls for a fiery CIA agent." 

(I just came up with that on the fly and you can probably tell, haha)

Three-Act Structure

After you get your storyline, you flesh it out into what is called a three-act structure.  Books and film usually occur in three "acts" and in between each "act" is what is called a "disaster" that keeps the reader engaged and continuing with the story.  Each disaster has to be worse than the one previous to keep your reader on the edge of their seat.

Here's an example from the novel, The Hunger Games.  (If you haven't read this and don't want spoilers scroll down.)  These are my guesses at what the disasters are by the way.  I read the book and believe these to be it.

Disasters of The Hunger Games:

1.  Katniss is doing rather well in the "games" and the Gamemakers are pissed because she's staying off the radar of the other contestants, so the Gamemakers send a fire storm down on her to make her intercept the other game players.

2.  Katniss makes friends with a young girl, but the young girl ends up being killed, thereby crushing Katniss' spirit and setting her back mentally in the games.

3.  Katniss' friend, Peeta, gets sick, which forces Katniss to go to a central location to get him medicine.  This action makes her interact with the remaining contests and therefore vulnerable to being killed.

Every disaster has to set back the main character and make it hard for them to complete there story goal at the end of the novel.  Katniss' story goal is to survive the games and not just that, but to beat the Capitol at their own game.


After writing the three-act structure, you flesh it out and make a two-page single spaced synopsis of the entire novel.  The synopsis tells the story from front to back, spoilers and all, but only focuses on the main characters and the main storyline.  

Scene List

After you have your synopsis, you make a scene list, which breaks up your synopsis into scenes like a movie.  Your scene list is a play-by-play of what is in the novel.  In the scene list, you write a one sentence summary of what will happen in the book.  Most books have anywhere from 60 - 100 scenes.

Now you can write!

You have your scene list and now you can use that as a road map of what to write in your book.  Start from the first scene and go!  By using this method, I can write 90,000 word novels in about 3 weeks and I get quicker every time!

This method was a godsend for me because I need structure, but I also want some surprise and creativity.  This method allowed me both.  I know my story will work out in the end, but I don't know specifics on how my characters will get there in each scene.  I just have a general idea and I love that surprise!

So there you have it, my friends.  If you have any questions comment below or just email me by finding my email under the contact tab.  I don't consider myself an expert on "Snowflake," but I have been able to write 4 novels in 9 months from it, so I it worked for me! :D

Pick-up Fiction Writing for Dummies here.  

Later, Peeps!


L. G. Keltner said...

I may have to try this with my next WIP. Thanks for sharing!

Pepca said...

This sounds very useful! Thanks for sharing!

Dana said...

I've never tried this, but maybe I will with this new idea. Thanks!

Rebecca Barrow said...

Great post! This is sort of what I do, but I could NEVER write 4 novels in 9 months! That is amazing!

Sharon Bayliss said...

Great post! I think I do this without knowing what it was called. :)

Summer Lane said...

My dad actually got the Snowflake method and he used it for a while. I haven't done it yet. It looks very effective!

Carrie Butler said...

This is similar to my method, but more organized. <3 I'll have to try it! Thanks, Victoria! :D

twentysomethingfictionwriter said...

Thanks for reading everyone! I hope you all try out the method. It's really good =D


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