How does the snowflake method work?
The Snowflake Method of writing is based on the idea that a writer begins with a simplistic deep theme and then, over time, develops and adds complexity. In other words; you start with a simple idea and then build on this idea until it transforms from a single sentence into a full-blown novel.
“It was a rainy day when he walked into her life and create stormy nights and turbulent months.”
This sentence may be too vague. If I take the same theme of weather, apply it to a hero who possibly works in the elements, then give her a job where she monitors climate, we may have a potential storyline. Let me try this again.
“Roland, a former merchant marine moves to Bayou La Batre, Alabama, a small fishing village known for turbulent weather.”
I think this sentence may be too specific. A very specific sentence like this locks me in creatively and limits the scope of my plot and story arc. I think I might go a little wider and a bit looser. Okay, let me try this approach.
“A merchant marine and a research climatologist discover a weather machine on a remote fishing village.”
Okay, that works. Now we can begin to build a story using the snowflake method.
1. Write A One-sentence Description For Your Novel
An easy starting point. This is the sum of your story, your protagonist’s journey. Where will they go, what will they achieve, how will they grow? Make it interesting. Perhaps, the weather machine is made of a metal not found on earth with a description in a language never before seen by human eyes.
2. Who’s The Protagonist (Hero Or Heroine) Of Your Novel?
Now write down something – a sentence or two – about your protagonist. Roland Bridges is a former merchant marine, who is a widower, and a single father to a son who doesn’t speak. He moves to a fishing village but doesn’t eat fish, or seafood. Has a soft spot for really smart women, but can’t manage long-term relationships. Somewhat lonely. Is an excellent violin player, and plays the violin whenever it rains.
3. Write a paragraph on settings
Bayou La Batre, Alabama, made famous by Forrest Gump Movie. Big Shrimpin’ reality TV series, this actual working port boasts abundant red snapper, grouper and oysters in addition to the curled crustaceans. The Black Pearl from Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean was also built and launched here, but despite its Hollywood connections this remains one of the authentic as it gets US fishing villages. There are no trendy restaurants or galleries, just hundreds of shrimping boats, giant piles of oyster shells and the requisite support facilities like processing plants. The nearest visitor accommodation is on the more tourist-centric Dauphin Island, across the bridge.
4. Add a beginning, middle, and end to your story description
Beginning: Roland Bridges relocates to Bayou La Batre, Alabama after his son is bullied constantly for not speaking by the kids in his school. Roland hopes to give his son new purpose by moving to an island with bad weather but when out exploring, runs into a smart climatologist who falls down a sink hole. He and his son help her out, only to discover she’s uncovered an object.
Middle: Celia Kiles, Climatologist and researcher s transfixed on the weird weather on the island. Keeps encountering / being pursued by The Research Initiative, a conglomerate of weathermen. Together, Roland and Celia began to piece together the weather phenomena, and why The Research Initiative is so interested in everything she’s doing.
End. The Head of The Research Initiative is Celia’s long lost father, the original weather man for Channel 12 News. He disappeared in a boating accident in 1988, during a freak storm where people reported alien sightings. Roland’s son touched the artifact and begins to speak again.
5. Write short character summaries
Roland Bridges, Dad, Former Merchant Marine
Celia Kiles, Climatologist
Dusty Kiles, our bad guy
Doug Bridges, the kid
6. Expand your story description to 2 pages
7. Keep adding details until you’re ready to write
It is just that simple, and also just that difficult.
Happy writing, reading, and stuffing the shelves.
Coming January 24th!
Mr. Slow took his time in life. Love, family, and the job were functions performed by the man he needed to be. A phone call in the middle of the night transformed him into the man he’d always wanted to be. Everything he ever wanted for himself was within his grasp, but he was reluctant to reach for the happily ever after he craved.
Abigail Barnes was the cherry on top of the ideal sundae. A woman who is not willing to be tied down by any man, for any reason. When her cousin goes missing, she makes the one phone she’s been dreading for nearly five years. She needed to call the man who turned her emotions on end, making her want all the things life didn’t have time to give her, but she needed his help.
Arriving in the middle of the night to help the woman who made him lose sleep, he discovered the two of them shared more than three hot nights in a cheap hotel in Mexico.
Prepare to turn the pages and learn of the man the technicians call Mr. Slow, but also the man, Gabriel Neary, the Archangel, calls his cousin.
Book is available https://amzn.to/3XA7Dz8
You Should Be Writing:
Give Your Writing Brain a Daily Break 2
Writing is such a solitary life. There are days when you've had it with your characters and they simply will not behave. Here is the perfect way to take a mental break. In between chapters, and scenes, or if the primary heroine is being temperamental, take a break and rest the noggin. Get it here.