Writing Advice: Snowflake Method


Tomorrow marks the beginning of National Novel Writing Month. At the stroke of midnight, aspiring novelists all over the world will begin typing out their way toward 50,000 words and a (partially) completed manuscript of their very own. To do this — or to write a novel under any circumstances — there must be a component of planning and strategy. Very few writers go in completely blind and simply start writing. There needs to be a structure, there needs to be some preparation, and there needs to be a method with which you approach the monumental task of writing a novel. One of those methods is called the Snowflake Method and it was created and pioneered by Randy Ingermanson.

Randy’s website goes into more detail regarding how to execute the Snowflake Method when planning for a novel, but an article on the BubbleCow website lays it out in ten simple steps. The Snowflake Method operates on the core belief that a novel begins with a very small component, a singular theme that you believe is important to write about, and that the core belief can be developed into larger and larger pieces of the novel. Much like a snowflake, this method begins the creation of your novel with a single speck of an idea and branch that out into more detailed aspects.

I found the Snowflake Method when I first heard about National Novel Writing Month. So, of course, I attempted to follow this method for my first attempt at NaNo. In the end, I decided that this method was not for me. Personally, I don’t like to over-plan before actually sitting down to write. But if you are a detailed outliner and need lots of notes and references before you begin writing, the Snowflake Method might be the right thing for you!

— Jet Fuel Editor, Mary Egan

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