Saturday, August 22, 2009

Snowflake

Many writers are familiar with the Snowflake Method of novel design. It seems that the basic underlying idea here is that, instead of growing your plot in a linear manner, you allow all the segments of your story to develop organically from the seed of the idea into a full-blown novel.

I am wondering if anyone who visits Adventures in Writing has tried this method, if you've had success with it, and if you would use it again, or recommend it to others.

10 comments:

  1. You know, to this day, I simply cannot wrap my mind around the idea of the snowflake method. It's simple enough, but my mind does not work in that way. Believe me, I've tried, but the end result is a catastrophe. haha

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  2. Stef: That's interesting. It seems it might tie an author up with hours of writing, some of which would be quite unorganized, before actually writing the first chapter. Is that what happens with you?

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  3. I hadn't heard of it but it sounds interesting. My model is more like climbing a mountain. I know where I'm starting. I can see the top of the mountain, at least from a distance, so I know where I'm going to end up. The fun is figuring out how to climb the thing.
    However lately I've had the propensity to fall off cliffs, so I'm thinking some other method might work better.
    But if I sat down and came up with the whole plot in one day or one week, I don't think I'd have the energy to fill out the novel because there's no mystery. For me, the fun of writing is starting off with a character and a setting, and seeing where things go.

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  4. I have heard of the snowflake method and know others who use it or versions of it. With my newest WIP, I used a similar method. I knew where I wanted to begin and where I wanted to end up. So I took that beginning and linked every major conflict I could. I branched out with any specific scenes I could think of as well. Then I did the same thing with my characters. I established a conflict I wanted them to deal with and then branched out to issues they had from the past and how it would affect that conflict throughout the story. Seems to be working pretty well so far and I feel like I have a lot more levels of my story developed than I usually do at the beginning.

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  5. I've never tried it, but I've used something called a mind map that has some similarity.

    In general I see the ending and try to put together the scenes to get there.

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  6. Never heard of this. Sounds interesting.

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  7. I most definitely recommend the Snowflake Method. Although it won't work for every writer, I believe a lot of the principles of the method can be very helpful to any writer.

    I've done a few posts that mention and tie into the Snowflake Method.

    The Art of Repetition

    Don't Dis The Map Part 2

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  8. Thanks for the link. I have not tried that method, but it is one of those things I hear about from time to time.

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  9. This is the method by which I write novels, but didn't know it had a name. I always visualized the process as a spider web, but a snowflake works too.

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  10. i'm using it - gently - to write my current WIP. i'll let you know what i think ... eventually :)

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