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May 19th, 2005, 11:49 PM
We've probably all read about the snowflake method by now, but I am interested to see just how everyone breaks down their story into a paragraph, and what is stripped even moreso off that to sum the story up in a single sentence.

Go ahead and share whatever you have actually done in the snowflake method (and I am sure some people have interesting variations too) too see if we can help each other out in cutting the extraneous garbage (that seems useful to the writer).

May 20th, 2005, 01:52 AM

Don't use it.

Developed my on internal way of working when I wrote my first book. Use that. Difficult to explain, I just let my magpie mind pick at a story idea till I get it to work.

Yes I do condense my story down once its finished into a chapter breakdown, then one page summary, then a paragraph, but I use the old fashioned précis method I was taught in school over 30 years ago.

May 20th, 2005, 01:35 PM
I have to agree with Holbrook. The snowflake seems like a fine method, but for some reason does not fit me very well. I tend to stick with 3x5 index cards with short bits written on them.


May 20th, 2005, 08:42 PM
I use the snowflake method but in a slightly bastardised format. I'm not interested in the various lengths of synopsis. I use the character mapping, relational mapping and also have added an event planner, so that all the major events I want to happen I put in a timeline and then figure out how they get between A and B by a combination of necessity and just going with the flow. I like the structure the snowflake method offers but too much just kills inspiration and those 'a-ha' moments - then it just reads like a math formula.

May 21st, 2005, 11:33 AM
Well, it seems to be that psychologist-detective division again. The Snowflake Method can be a great organizational and plotting tool if you're a writer who likes to make an analysis of everything beforehand, or partially so. But if you're a detective sort of writer who goes in and figures out the plot as you go along, or if you're sort of in-between, as to my surprise, I've discovered I am, then it may be of much more limited use and even possibly a hindrance.

But being able to summarize your work in a sentence or a few sentences, whether you're planning all out beforehand or have put together a ms. on instinct, is a skill writers generally need to develop. I have usually found that trying to extract a storyline from authors is akin to pulling teeth -- it requires questions and questions to winnow it clear. So maybe the Snowflake Method could be useful even if you're a total detective/explorer writer, to assess your work after you've written it and chart what exactly you've done. Or is it not workable that way? I only took a brief glance at it when Juzz brought it up.

May 21st, 2005, 12:29 PM
i despair at my ignorance but what exactly is the snowflake method ?

May 21st, 2005, 06:24 PM
This post here should help you: http://www.sffworld.com/forums/showpost.php?p=234898&postcount=8