How Snowflakes Can Help You Write …

I have a dream … that one day I will discover how best I write.  I just spent a wonderful afternoon this past Saturday speaking with some amazing women and they all shared different methods of writing and I just thought to myself, “Wow – they are wonderful.  I am so proud to be a Sister in Crime with them.”

I had just shared that I was 21000 words into a manuscript and I had lost my way, I was thinking that I would have to print the whole thing out and then outline it so that I would discover where I was and I asked these lovely Sisters how they did it.

One wrote out whole pages of character studies and in depth outlines and scene maps so that by the time she got around to actual writing she had 50 pages of information already typed and she did a lot of copy and pasting and just “filled-in” the rest.  The rest of the writers seemed to have general ideas of outlines, but no where near the detail of the first.

That first seems a lot like something that I heard about on the listserv for Sisters in Crime … a writing method called The Snowflake Method.  This method can be found on the web site by clicking on the link; however in synopsis – he wants you to first put together your elevator speech.  Gather together fifteen words that describes your book in a fresh and snazzy way.  Then put together your back of the book blurb — a paragraph that describes your book.  Then write your character pages.  Then do an in depth scene map … if you followed his directions by the time you actually write your novel it would be just adding transitions and colorful descriptions for everything was all plotted out and wonderfully clear.

I printed out his article and started doing this … I got as far as the back of the book blurb and starting with characters.  I blame my failure on my children and my lack of time.  I have children to raise, pets to care for and laundry to hang; how can I possibly write two to three pages of character stuff that I probably won’t use, especially when I know my characters?

Now that I have heard my fellow Sister describe her method and how similar it is to “The Snowflake Method” … I am tempted to go back and try it again.  Maybe this busy woman could use some structure!

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2 thoughts on “How Snowflakes Can Help You Write …

  1. I bookmarked that link to go back to later, thanks.

    I understand how finding time for some of the background stuff can be daunting. I found using a voice recorder helps. I have one with a little clip-on collar mic. I talk to myself about my characters, argue plot points, etc. while I’m doing laundry, walking the dog, anything where my hands (or feet are busy) but my mind can be somewhere else.

    • I am still delusional enough to think that I will remember all the cool ideas that float through my head. I should find my voice recorder and use it. I have just listened to Janet Evanovich’s “How I Write” and it was so good I decided to listen to it again (it is short, only 4 discs!) one thing she advises is to write down everything because you won’t remember it all and you don’t want to forget your best idea ever!

      Driving and walking are the best places for new ideas.

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