Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Plotting a Novel - Like a Snowflake?!

"How to Plot and Write a Novel - Plan Your Novel Writing with the Snowflake Method"
(November 15, 2008)

"For writers who like to plan their stories, and therefore not need as many major revisions, the Snowflake Method is a great step-by-step way to write a novel.

"Many novelists mull over story ideas, letting them ripen and develop over time. When the story is ready to be told, instead of just sitting down and starting to type, try the Snowflake Method. This step-by-step way to write a novel begins with essential elements and becomes more detailed with each step...."

After a while, all 'how to write' articles start to look alike. This one included.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. There are, I think, a limited number of fundamental ways to write a novel - or any work of fiction. One of the continuums goes from the brakes-off stream of consciousness approach to a rigid plot-every-point system of assembling a story.

The 'snowflake method' seems to take the metaphor of a snowflake as a means of describing a layered (hierarchical, for those who like extra syllables) system of building a story - starting with a single sentence, expanding that to a page, and so on.

Pretty good idea, actually.

I suspect, though, that it still takes effort to write 100,000 words - that someone else would want to read.


Brigid said...

You used hierarchical twice when it seems you were intending to use two different words.

Brian H. Gill said...


Aww, man! Thanks for spotting that. And, finally, it's been fixed.

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