I’m Going to Start My First Draft!! But First, the Snowflake Method…

Today, I’m actually going to start working on my novel!  I’ve spent a couple of weeks honing my skills.  Do I think I’m prepared? Maybe, but it doesn’t matter because I’m ready! I’m motivated!  As I mentioned here and here, almost all the resources I’ve turned to about this topic recommend beginning the endeavor by writing a little bit each day.  That sounds reasonable; however, I’ve actually tried that before, and the end product ended up being very disorganized, and I ultimately felt frustrated and discouraged.  So this time around I am going to begin my endeavor using the snowflake method.  This concept apparently was developed by a novelist/ex software architect who recommends “designing” your novel before embarking on the first draft.  Basically, the idea is that you start really, really broad and then methodically add details to your plots and character over time.  Although I pretend that I don’t like structure and rules, I actually love and need these, so this strategy seems perfect for me.  Below is a summary of the steps.  I’m going to try the first couple  after work today—how exciting!! 🙂

The Snowflake Method

  1. Write a sentence describing your novel.
  2. Expand sentence into full paragraph (try a 3-act structure: three disasters and an ending).
  3. Write a one page summary about each of your major characters (character’s name, storyline, motivation, goal, conflict, epiphany).
  4. Expand each sentence of your summary paragraph into a full paragraph.
  5. Create one page descriptions of each major character and half-page descriptions of other important characters.
  6. Expand each paragraph in your initial summary into a page.
  7. Expand character descriptions into full-fledged character charts detailing everything there is to know about him/her.
  8. Make a spreadsheet listing the various scenes in your novel.
  9. Write a narrative description of each scene.
  10. Begin writing first draft.

Has anyone out there tried this before? Did it work? Adios!


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