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October 11th, 2004, 04:56 AM
Okay, I know there used to be a thread for this but I feel it deserves to be reincarnated.

I am four chapters in to my latest project and thought I would give the snowflake process a go, and it is amazing... It is not rocket science, far from it, but it really forces you to explore your characters, plots and themes for your novel.

Apart from anything else, it also results in you drafting your synopsis and blurb from the start (of course tweaking is likely when you have completed your project). I hate writing synopsis but doing the snowflake step by step, I didn't even realise I had done it LOL.

I would recommend that anyone attempting longer work, gives it a shot. I didn't do all of it, you will probably adapt it a bit too but it has really helped me to plan my novel in such a way that I have found themes and character motivations I may not have thought about without using this model.

Read how it works... (http://www.rsingermanson.com/html/sample_snowflake.html)

October 11th, 2004, 05:29 AM
One day I will show you the lever arch file full of research and outlines for the monster...;)

It is interesting and I can see how it would help. But isn't there the danger of the work becoming rigid. The feeling that I had this in the outline, had the reasons behind character a, doing action b as such and such and you have to make it work that way..

One thing I found is though both my works got from the starting point I had planned to the finish point, both did not stick to the path I first imagined. The characters took over as I wrote (one in particular. It was if he was reading over my shoulder, hissing between his teeth when I went wrong. If you don't believe me ask Oz, he was about here during the writing of that.) in a number of cases decided their own fates, if that makes sense.

Perhaps its me, the moment I start to analyse a piece of work in progress it starts to fade away and is still born... Made up my mind I am not going to talk about novel three until I have a rough complete draft... FOCL.

October 11th, 2004, 06:10 AM
Its interesting, but mostly a variation on other things I've tried. I like the fact that it agrees with me about character driven stories (see 'Worldbuilding' thread). The system of developing the characters will probably be of use in the second book of Arden's Call, as I have to refresh the same characters and keep them interesting.

October 11th, 2004, 06:45 AM
Nope, I don't think it impedes your creativity, after all, you are in charge and the snowflake is for yourself and no one else, so if you go off in a different direction you just change the synopsis later.

Actually, the synopsis is the least useful output from the process for me personally... Far more powerful is the character summary sheets. Putting down on paper the character's motivation, goal, conflict and epiphany, gives the characters even more life and ability to take the story out of my mind and into theirs.

Everyone is different, I just find a lot of longer work sags in the middle and you can tell when the writer is letting the story lead him/her rather than the other way round. There is nothing wrong with a story exploding into life as long as a few milestones or plot drivers are aimed for along the way.

October 11th, 2004, 10:33 AM
I see why he calls it the snowflake method. You start off small and keep adding details until you wind up with everything you need to know. ;)

Thank you Juzzza for showing me this. :D Gotta suggest this to SubZero.

October 11th, 2004, 10:46 AM
No problem expendable...

One further point, I was at a bit of an impasse with my project, I really needed some motivation and needed to get re-acquainted with my characters and where I wanted to take the story... The snowflake was the boot up the bum I needed... It may be that it is less of an ongoing process and simply an exercise to jump-start the old writer's engine in my head (or heart... Not sure where the engine lives!!!).

Enjoy and use if you wish, ignore and do what you usually do if you prefer... *shrug* ;)

Oh yea, the hardest part was writing step 1 and step 2, I had not actually sat down and defined what I wanted to 'say' with my story...

Okay, in one sentence what is it all about!?! What I thought it was about, is actually different to what I came up with following the snowflake process.

I suggest everyone at least completes steps 1 and 2... Go on, try it now, in one sentence tell me what your novel is all about.

October 11th, 2004, 01:50 PM
Ok.. for fun.....

One sentence;

The King has a special sword; who made it, why and how, but things are never that simple are they?

One Paragraph;

Choice is the cornerstone of existence. Each choice made shapes the future, allows life to continue and grow. Chaos wishes for this continuing to stop, for everything to sink into nothing. How better than to use manís gift of free will, his ability to choose, to destroy the Gods creation. So one set of choices battle another; a rebel Lord plunges his world in to civil war, because he believes his is right. An uncrowned King accepts a sword, as a pledge of aid from unlooked for, but welcome allies. The war between Rebel and King, chaos and life comes to a head at the brutal siege of one city on the oxbow of a River; Volesford.

October 12th, 2004, 05:27 AM
I see why he calls it the snowflake method. You start off small and keep adding details until you wind up with everything you need to know. ;)

Thank you Juzzza for showing me this. :D Gotta suggest this to SubZero.

Of course you do. ;)

October 12th, 2004, 05:02 PM
"Absolutely," Expendable nodded, smiling. "You betcha."

October 12th, 2004, 05:43 PM
I will give it a go, but it seems kinda eerie.

I know it will work, but it is something that gives me a headache reading.