The Snowflake Method of writing a novel was developed by Randy Ingermanson, a physicist who writes fiction. He is the author of Oxygen, Double Vision, The Fifth Man, and several more. His monthly publication, Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine, is sent out free to anyone who wants it. Visit www.ingermanson.com and you can subscribe to his e-zine, read the Snowflake Method, or just learn about the man behind the method.
There are all kinds of people who can tell you how to write a novel. Thousands of different methods are available for your use. How do you know which one is the best? What works for someone else may not work for you. The best method for you is the one that helps you to get that novel written. The Snowflake Method is just one of the available methods. It is completely free and available to anyone who wants it. Based on the design of a snowflake, you start with a small idea and build on it until what you have resembles a story. The idea is to get your creative thoughts organized so they can be arranged into a novel.
According to this method, there are ten steps to writing a novel.
First - Write a one-sentence summary of your novel. This is not as easy as it sounds. It can be a challenge to come up with just one sentence that summarizes your entire novel.
Second - Expand your one-sentence summary into a paragraph. In this paragraph you need to include the ending, as well as any major events you know are going to take place.
Third - Now it is time for your characters. By now you should have a basic idea of what your novel is going to consist of and who your characters are going to be. Give your cast of characters names and write a summary for each one of them that outlines their part in your story.
Fourth - Write a one-page summary of your story.
The rest of the steps you can look up for yourself online.
Mr. Ingermanson developed some software, Snowflake Pro, to go along with this method of writing. He graciously sent me a copy of this software to try out and review.
Would I recommend this software? Yes, I would, but only to be used in conjunction with other tools. Mr. Ingermanson did say that this method would not work for everyone, but I believe that each person would benefit from this method in some way. The software is not useless by any means, but if you use it alone, I feel it could hinder your creative process.
What did I like about the software?
1) Steps one and two were awesome to work out using the software.
2) There is a section that has you develop every single aspect of your character in minute detail. You need to realize that not all of this will be used in your story, but it will cause you to flesh out your character more deeply than you might otherwise do.
3) You can start more than one novel at a time and keep track of each one of them using this software. That is awesome! Each screen that you open up makes you look deeply at your synopsis and that is a huge plus.
4) Even if the way you write best is without software, the way your scenes are shown on the screens will at least start you thinking.
5) This software takes you all the way from your one-sentence summary to writing your proposal.
What did I not like about it?
1) For those of you who are extremely computer literate and keep track of everything on the computer, it may prove to be awesome. You are told to go back and change things when you see they are not going to work out. For me, the process of changing things is much simpler to do on paper or in MS Word. This could prove to be much different for you.
2) Every step is explained and each section of your chapters is displayed on spreadsheets. My husband loves spreadsheets, but I'm not so wild about them.
As you can see, there were more good points than bad ones about this software. If you like using software to help with your writing, I'm sure you will love it. If you just like to write without the aid of software, then this probably is not for you.
If you would like to try out this software, visit his website (www.ingermanson.com) and click on 'Snowflake method of writing a novel'. It will take you to a page where you can read the Snowflake Method and, if you wish, purchase the software.