Do You Want to Build a…Novel? - Dorrance Publishing Company

Do You Want to Build a…Novel?

With plenty of snowflakes in the forecast lately, we thought “Why not write about snowflakes … the Snowflake Method that is!”

With 2015 well underway, if your New Year’s resolution was to finally make your publishing dreams a reality, we want to offer you some writing tips that might help you keep your resolutions intact!

Although some people can just sit down and simply write, others might need a plan to follow to help organize their thoughts as they write their novels.

There is nothing wrong with the latter – writing a book can be difficult. In fact, that’s why writing techniques such as the Snowflake Method exist!

What’s the Snowflake Method?

The Snowflake Method can help a writer avoid any major plot complications and potentially spend less time with writer’s block. Basically, as with many forms of writing, this technique starts with an idea. From there the writer adds layers to that initial foundation until that idea turns into a workable story and plot.

How to use the Snowflake Method:

Let’s take a look at the various layers that make up the Snowflake Method:

1. Create a one-sentence summary. To begin, create a one sentence summary that encapsulates the entire premise of your book. Essentially, this sentence should summarize the main point of your book and tie together the big picture of the main character’s plight. This sentence should give insight into what the story is about, but not so much that it gives it away.
2. Add to that one-sentence summary. With this step, you’ll take your sentence and turn it into a full paragraph. In this paragraph, you will expand on the plot and describe the novel’s background, its three major disasters/conflicts (usually there are three major disasters), and how it will end. Basically, your paragraph should be organized in a way that one sentence is devoted to the setup of your story, additional sentences for each of the three main conflicts, and then a final sentence to explain the ending.
3. Character development. Now that you have your plot in order, it’s time to develop your characters. This step scratches the surface of your book’s characters and offers a brief overview of everyone included. For each character, you should come up with a name, a short summary of his or her storyline, the character’s goal, conflict, and what each character will learn in the end. This practice will allow you to actually see your story’s flow and will perhaps spur on more creative ideas!
4. Summarize the plot. This part of the snowflake is where the plot thickens. In this step, you’ll add more details and expand on the ideas from step two by developing a paragraph from each sentence. By summarizing your plot, you will be able to see on paper the events of your book and how they will pan out. You’ll connect the dots of your characters and events, allowing you to make edits and changes to enhance your storyline.
5. Write. It’s the moment that we’ve all been waiting for! After carefully developing not only the plot, but the story’s characters as well as the conflicts and narratives within your book, it’s time to put all of those ideas in motion and begin writing!

Although at its core the Snowflake Method can be very structured, it also allows for flexibility and creativity, which offers the writer the best of both worlds.

So, if you’re looking to turn your publishing dream into a reality in 2015, consider using the Snowflake Method to kick-start your New Year’s resolution!

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