How to write a novel using the Snowflake method
Chapter 1 The Impractical Dream
Method one: Plot
The teacher said “I’ve been teaching for forty years, and many of my students have gotten published. The secret to writing a novel is to plot it out in advance.”
Tellin the highlights of the plot.
She learned that when novelists talk about an outline, they mean a synopsis — a summary of the story, telling the highlights of the plot.
Method two: Organica
“Writing your novel organically”
The secret to writing a novel is to simply let it well up out of your soul. No need to plot your novel in advance.
Chapter 2 Your target audience
The main purpose of fiction is to give your reader what I call a “powerful emotional experience.
For a novelist, being ‘too emotional’ is often a good thing. The only thing you have to sell is your emotional experiences.
You are going to write your story to delight your target audience. You will not care about anybody else.
Your marketing plan
1. Choose the target audience you want to delight.
2. Write the best story you can, aiming exactly at that target audience.
3. When you publish your story, market it ONLY to your target audience.
4. Your target audience will tell the rest of the world.
(We only have to do three of them, the fourth step happens on its own.)
Chapter 3 Your story in one sentence
You give her a taste of the story in twenty-five words or less.
Your one-sentence summary
1. Give yourself one hour for this task.
2. Write one sentence that tells the following:
. What category your book is.
. Who your lead characters are.
. What one thing they desperately want to do.
3. Don’t tell any backstory.
4. Paint a picture for your target audience.
5. Be as short as possible, but no shorter.
A romantic suspense novel about a woman in Nazi-occupied France who falls in love with an injured American saboteur on a mission to blow up a key ammunition depot at Normandy just before D-Day.
The first person you have to market to is yourself. You have to be excited about your story. Which means you have to know what your story is. This is huge progress.
Chapter 4 Your Creative Paradigm
My creative paradigm is called the Snowflake Method, and you’ve completed the first step — writing the one sentence summary.
Chapter 5 The Importance of Being Disastours
Your reader wants all of those things. Excitement. Decisions. New directions. And they want those on a regular schedule.
Your one-paragraph summary
1. Give yourself one hour for this task.
2. Write one paragraph with five sentences as follows:
. Explain the setting and introduce the lead characters.
. Explain the first quarter of the book to the first disaster, where the hero commits to the story.
. Explain the second quarter of the book, up to the second disaster, where the hero changes his mode of operation.
. Explain the third quarter of the book, up to the third disaster, which forces the hero to commit to the ending.
. Explain the fourth quarter of the book, where the hero has the final confrontation and either wins or loses or both.
3. Focus on the disasters and the decisions that follow.
4. Don’t try to figure out how you’ll solve all the problems. leave that for later. You only care about the big picture in this step.
What we’ve learned is called the Three-Act Structure, although I sometimes like to call it the There-Disaster Structure. Designing your Three-Act Structure is the second step of Snowflake Method.
Chapter 6 Nothing Is More Important Than Characters
Properties of goals:
Values => Ambition => Goal
Your character summary sheets:
. Values(two or more):
. One-sentence summary:
. One-paragraph summary:
Because most people have several things the value. And those can be in conflict. And when a person has conflicting Values, that leads to internal conflict, and the person becomes unpredictable.
Chapter 7 Your Story in One Page
We’ve already seen how to write a one-paragraph summary of your story. Now just take each sentence of that paragraph and expand it into a paragraph of its own. You have five sentences. Expanding each of those will give you five paragraphs, which add up to a page. That’s all.
Chapter 8 Your People’s Secret Stories
Chapter 9 Your Second Disaster and Your Moral Premise
The Moral Premise by Stan Williams. The basic idea is that in the first half of the story, the lead character lives by a false Moral Premise, and reaps the results.
So Elise’s false Moral Premise is…
That she has to live in fear to be safe.
But living in fear leads to disaster.
And as a result of the second disaster—right at the midpoint of the story — the lead character changes to a true Moral Premise. She decides that she can live by courage.
Which leads to victory.
Not necessarily a victory in the outer sense. She may fail to get back her daughter. She may fail to blow up the ammo dump.. She may even fail to survive. But the important thing is that she is a victor in her soul. Virtue is its own rewards.
Chapter 10 Why Backtracking Is Good
I recommend that my students constantly try to improve their one-sentence summary.
“Once a villain, always a villain.”
“He had a terrible childhood, and there are reasons he turned out the way he did.”
How much time extra is that going to cost you?
There’s nothing wrong with backtracking. It’s essential, in fact. All writers backtrack. It’s just a matter of how much they have to backtrack.
You’ll never get it perfect on the first round.
Backtracking makes your story stronger, deeper, richer.
Chapter 11 Your Long Synopsis
those who are here are the ones willing to put in the hard work. I’m proud of you all.
Purpose of Long Synopsis
1. Flash out story
2. Prepare for scene list.
3. Raw material for synopsis for agent.
The first rule of writing a synopsis is this: shorter is better.
You’ll find that your long synopsis practically writes itself.
She’s got bigger fish to fry than to work on a stupid egomaniac’s personal-experience story, thinly disguised as a novel.
She was trying to make sense of all this.
She didn’t want an agent who would be hard to work with, and he clearly had a dark side.
Chapter 12 Your Character Bible
His eyes flicked down to her chest for a moment.
Step 7 in the Snowflake Method is to write up a character bible for each of your characters.
Let’s remember the most important thing. You want to know enough about your characters so that you can get inside their skins.
She knew that this wasn’t going to be easy, but she also knew it would be valuable.
Chapter 13 Your Third Disaster
a perplexed look on his face.
I hate to say it, but yes, I think he did it.
how do we know for sure he did it?
“people can change.”