Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Writing with the Snowflake

I’ve been working on outlining a new middle grade novel. It’s been a while since I started something new, and I swear EVERY time, it’s like the first time. How the heck have I done this before?

I tried outlining. It just doesn’t really work for me. I have no idea what happens in chapter one, let along chapter fifteen.

So…I remembered a strategy that worked for me last time: Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method.
I’m not a purist when it comes to any method. Last time, I started with the Snowflake and then moved to outlining my chapters using the Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler.

  1. Anyway, Snowflake starts with writing a log line; Just a short sentence describing the book. (You can do this!)
  2. The next step is to take the logline, and write a longer blurb (think, query blurb or back cover copy).
  3. Next…and this may take a couple of days…you write a longer synopsis, a couple of pages.
  4. So, in small steps, you’ve got a synopsis. Now you can take the synopsis and break it out into chapters. Get it? Build the novel a small bit at a time.

If you’re a purist, you’ll spend some time developing a character sheet for each main character (and some secondary).

Randy spells it out in great detail. You can even get software. I think this is a great way to develop your story, a small bit at a time. Without having to outline.

I know there are different methods of writing as there are writers. So this might not work for you. Heck, it might work for you on one novel, and not the next one. I’ll admit, I love having a short and long synopsis before I even get to the heavy lifting.

What ways do you use for starting a new project?

1 comment:

  1. I tried Snowflake a year ago. Found it an interesting plotting tool. My problem is that I'm a big time pantzer, and don't like plotting. I generally start writing, dropping bullet point thoughts below my typing. Sort of writing and noting at the same time. Still, if I was to use a program, snowflake would be it.