Book 6 – How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson

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A must read for everyone who wants to write a book – or has a story they would like to tell to the world – not because it’s the best book ever and it gives you solid advice and exactly the ten steps to write that bestseller. No, simply because it gives you a different view on how you could write a story. We all know that there are probably as many ways to write a story as there are writers. And that’s okay, however most of them can be a added into a couple of groups. Plotters, who plot every single thing out and have a very extended outline, character charts and more before they ever start writing a single word of the actual story. They know where they start, what the middle holds and what the ending will be like and most likely every detail in between. The other mayor group are the panters, writers who have a very flimsy idea of what they want to write and they sit down and start writing.

I always thought that I belonged to the pantsers but for me there is a huge problem with that. I have an idea, a beginning, characters in mind but I have no real idea of where the story goes. So I keep adding details and in the end there literally is no end. Most of my stories are WIP’s (works in progress) because of that reason they remain that way because I never figure out how to give the stories a proper ending. Because I have been adding so many story lines to my initial idea along the way that I can’t see the ending – or that is what it feels like to me. So I guess that I am neither a plotter nor a pantser. So what am I? That has been something I’ve been looking for ever since I started writing, I never really felt like I was following the right course.

I knew that I was in need of something new, a different approach, something that would take me away from the path that I had tried to follow since it obviously wasn’t working for me. Years ago I tried looking into the Snowflake method, I knew some fan fiction writers who used it and it sounded promising. I looked into the website but it sounded extremely boring,  however for some reason at that point in time it simply felt wrong. And if it doesn’t feel good, I know that there is no reason to try it because it’s not going to work no matter how hard you try.

With my creativity level so low and me being so blocked from doing anything creative I thought that it was best to try something different, so I started reading this book which had been on my tablet for the longest time. And I really enjoyed reading it, it’s set up like a ‘fairytale’ kind of like story. Which really made me smile – it’s all about a couple of bears, a wolf and Goldilocks who wants to write a book. It’s a fun story to read and to top it off you take away some information and advice that might help you with future projects. While I might never use all the information I read in this book I will always take away some information which I read and use it for my own stories.

So far I haven’t really put the strategy to the test because all I’ve been working on this Nanowrimo so far is these book reviews and a blog posts. And I’ve also been having some ideas for a short story – an idea which was given to me by one of my fellow writing buddies – however that story is probably going to be too short to put the Snowflake method to the test. The story might be somewhere around 2000 words maybe a little bit more but never more than 5000 words. Anyway, I haven’t written the actual story yet but I have been thinking about it, so that’s progress and I’ve worked out some of the details I want to put in the story. Which is progress in my book. But this post shouldn’t be a Nanowrimo update it should be about the book I’ve read. Let’s get back to the book.

What I really liked about this book is that the ten step process was wrapped up in a nice story and not a step by step thing you usually see when you read a course book or something similar. Which made it even easier to read and to work through. I guess that years ago when I first came upon this Snowflake method it was through a website and the information was very to the point and straight forward which made it sound extremely boring and I quickly turned away and went about writing stories the way I always had been doing. Which was basically on the fly with a very limited idea of what I wanted and coming up with the rest of the information as I worked on the story which made it almost impossible for me to finish stories because I always kept coming up with new ideas.

The fact that this book was such an easy read made it a lot of fun to work through it and learn the ten steps. What I also liked was that the ten steps are explained through the story but also by giving solid examples. And at the end of the book you can even find way the author used the ten steps to create this book. So it’s a complete learning process.

Like I said before, even if I might never follow all ten steps I surely will take away the information I need from these steps. For now I’m signing off with a recommendation for this book is a must read for everyone who wants to finally get that story written.

 

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