The Snowflake Method for designing novels by Randy Ingermanson. I’ve tried to use it for years. It never worked for me.
A couple of weeks ago I bought A Snowflake Analysis of the Novel: Gone with the Wind by Randy and his daughter Carolyn, who is an English lit major in her third year of college. Now I get it. Now I see I’d been making it more difficult than it was meant to be!
I studied the GWTW example (I’ve read the book several times, so it all made sense), then plunged in with my new novel idea. And guess what? I finished it!! The Snowflake, that is. But that means I have a roadmap for my plot, I’ve explored my characters inside and out, and I still have room for the process to grow organically as I write. And I found that I could tailor some of the snowflake method to how I write best. For instance, instead of character charts, as Randy suggests, or interviewing my characters, as other authors do, I snagged a tip from I can’t remember where and wrote my main characters’ autobiographies up until the time the story begins. That gave me the freedom to create as I went, plus it gave me not only the details about the characters I needed, but also their voice, which gives great insight into who they are.
I’m so excited. I feel like I’m in the starting gate, chomping at the bit to get in the race, just waiting for the gun to go off and the gate to open, freeing me to race down the straightaway. The gun goes off on Monday morning. I hope I make it to the finish line!