Saturday, May 26, 2012

Outlining Part 3--The Snowflake Method

Welcome to Part 3 of my outlining saga. If you'd like to look back at how it all began, here's the intro, along with Part 1 (Hero's Journey) and Part 2 (How to Beat Out Your Novel).

Now, for today I'm going to be talking about the Snowflake Method. From what I gather, there's 10 steps.

1) Write a one sentence summary of your work
2) Expand that sentence into one paragraph about your work
3) Using step 1 & 2 as a guideline, write a on page summary for each of your characters
4) Take each of your sentence from step 2 and expand them into a full paragraph, making sure all but the last sentence ends in disaster. The last sentence tells you how the book will end
5) Write a one page description of each of your main characters and a half a page for the minor characters in your work, character synopsises
6) Now take your one page plot synopsis (step 4) and expand it into a 4 page synopsis
7) Take your character synopsises and create a full blown character chart
8) With your four page synopsis, write a list of scenes you'll need to turn the story into a novel
9) Begin writing a narrative description of the story
10) Write the first draft

This is really bare bones and may not make a lot of sense. There is a great website that details each step a lot more, here, but this is the basic idea of the snowflake method. You start with a big piece of paper, like you do a snowflake, and you cut, trim, pull, splice, and create a beautiful snowflake in the process.

I can see how some of these steps can help me flush out my stories faster, but all this research is still leading me to one conclusion. You have to do what works for you. I think I'm still going to pick and choose what I think will help me out the most.

Here are some other posts about the Snowflake Method. Some are personal experiences with the method, and others are informational. In the meantime, Happy Outlining!

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