Considering the Snowflake Method of Writing

Today, I saw an article about writing using the snowflake method. I haven’t really thought about how I would categorize my own writing and outlining method, but I thought I’d see how it compares with the snowflake method. So, let’s jump right into it.

Step 1 – I have not done this. I don’t have a one sentence summary.

Step 2 – I haven’t written a paragraph summary, either. At least not in this way.

Step 3 – I have done some work on character profiles, but not in this way. I don’t have a summary of their storyline. I have a summary of their life history before the story started.

Step 4 – I have done something like this. Expanding the summary paragraph into several paragraphs, each part ending in a disaster. I’ve summarised Journey to Ariadne chapter by chapter.

Step 5 – I haven’t done character synopses. These are a full page describing what each character does in the story. Maybe I should.

Step 6 – Expand step 4’s sentences into individual paragraphs. So, basically making a longer summary of each section. I have not done this, but I have made a longer paragraph for each chapter. This should be a four page synopsis.

Step 7 – Making character charts with a large amount of information, stats, storyline, how they change by the end of the novel, etc. I have not done this completely, but I have done some basic background information, as I said.

Step 8 – Take the four page synopsis and make a list of scenes in a spreadsheet with the point of view character noted. I have absolutely not done this.

Step 9 – Make a narrative description of each scene, basically expanding each sentence into multiple paragraphs. Dialogue can be added if you like. Nope, I didn’t do this, either. Apparently, it’s a quick version of a first draft that can be written quickly, and makes it easy to write a summary for submitting to a publisher.

Step 10 – Write the first draft. The article says that people who use this method can write books at a far faster pace than if you don’t outline in this way. For one thing, you know exactly what happens in each chapter, and you’re never guessing about what will happen. I haven’t done this, either. Well, I have done first drafts for Journey to Ariadne, but this isn’t meant to be a novel. It’s meant to be a short introductory story about how the world comes to be colonised.

I may attempt to use this method, just to get a better idea about what I’m writing. And maybe it’ll help me write faster.

Does anyone use this method? Or do you prefer another method? Let me know in the comments.

16 thoughts on “Considering the Snowflake Method of Writing”

  1. I attempted it but found it took away my spontaneity, somehow gave my characters too many restrictions. Not for me but then I am not a linear thinker or learner . Find what type of learner you are then how to plan will be obvious. Google learning styles or buy a book there are lots. Good post keep doing writer. 😇

    1. I’m a linear thinker, actually. Always thinking logically, connecting many things in my mind. It’s due to my scientific background. I am, of course, capable of thinking in other ways, but I tend to default to thinking about cause and effect.

      1. We can all adapt to new ways in the short term, though my comfortable place isn’t linear. My husband is more scientific in his approach; but thinks to sit and write constantly would be like a punishment. Horses for courses i suppose. 😇

  2. Wow sounds very restricting and far too regimented. I guess if you’re writing for profit then maybe it would work but to me it seems to take the fun out of it. I love to just sit and write and see what comes out, could be rubbish could be awesome but I don’t always know where my story is going to end up until I finish writing & that works for me.
    Use what works for you. 😎

    1. I actually find a lot of the things he mentions fun to do. I don’t think it would restrict me in any way. I’d use it as a basis, but when the actual writing happens, I let the characters speak for themselves, and I’ll have to change the outline when needed.

  3. I think this kind of method is more for those writers who prefer a more regimented or organized way of writing. I’ve tried doing it this way a few times, but found it too restrictive, and the writing ended up very flat and unexciting. I’m definitely a pantser, and have pretty much remained comfortably in that style. 🙂

  4. I’m a software designer and I can see the comparisons he uses. But, software design isn’t at all like a story. I have planned a story written the first draft then scrapped the end and started again.

    Go at it and develop your own technique. Using this restrictive approach will take most of the fun out of it IMO.

    1. There are many aspects of this method that interest me a lot, actually. The way I think, some parts of this method are actually a lot of fun for me. Not everything, though. I’ll pick and choose what works for me.

  5. I love the way writing can write itself but I guess some plan, direction helps me with that. I would see a snowflake as helping crystallise research, imagination into a well crafted piece.

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