Friday, March 14, 2008

Feeling snowy?

My writers’ group met last weekend, and our speaker taught us about Randy Ingermanson’s “Snowflake Method” for novel writing. The topic turned out to be very appropriate, considering we actually had a few snow flurries that morning (which is highly unusual for us Georgia folks at any time, but especially considering we were enjoying the sunny 60s just a few days beforehand)! We figured it showed once again that God does have a sense of humor. J

Anyway … I’d heard a lot about Snowflaking since dipping into the fiction writing world and had read Randy’s info before, but haven’t taken the time to go this route with any of my WIPs. I know it would probably save me time in the long run, but it’s hard to step back and work on all these “big picture” things when I just want to jump in and write!

But now that I’ve had a good look at it again, working through the process makes a lot of sense. I’m a list-making, check-off-box-loving kind of girl, so I already lean more toward the camp of plotters than seat-of-the-pants’ers. Not that I plot out every detail, mind you – it’s fun to have surprises pop up along the way as I write. Plotting just helps give me a framework for those surprises to happen in.

So here’s my question for those of you who are much further along the road to fiction publication than I am: do you Snowflake your WIPs, or have you ever tried it in the past? If so, what did you see as the pros and cons? How long did it take? And did you ever try it again, assuming you survived the first time?

I like the idea and might give it a whirl … I just want to be sure my Snowflake doesn’t become an out-of-control blizzard!

PS – If some of you readers are wondering what in the world I’m talking about, visit Randy’s site at for details on what the Snowflake Method of plotting is and how you go through it.


Catherine West said...

I have tried and tried and tried, to no avail.
Snowflake, Dramatica Pro, James Scott Bell's Plot and Structure...nothing clicks.
I'm just not a plotter. It's not how I"m wired.
I wish I were. It would be great to sit down and write the entire novel in some form of outline from start to finish. At least I'd have some idea of where I'm going.
But I end up getting so frustrated with the entire process that I just quit. I can 'see' the story outline in my head, I just can't write it down. I have to write the book first, or at least a good chunk of it, before I get a handle on plot, dark moments and the like. Probably more time consuming in the long run, but I tend to write quickly so it's easier for me to go back and spend more time on the overall story later, once the bare bones are in.
But hey, you have fun with that snowflake thing! Let me know if it works for you. A lot of people swear by it.

Molly Noble Bull said...

I do plot but maybe not as Randy does. I don't know the snowflake method. Maybe I should check it out.
By the way, your writing is great.

Leigh said...

Thanks for the complimnent, Molly. It's great to be part of a group of wonderful writers.

I haven't officially tackled the snowflake yet, but might get brave and give it a shot. I can see myself changing some things along the way (like not mapping out every single scene), but am sure the structure would help me keep moving in the right direction. We'll see ... :-)