Friday, July 6, 2018

Review: How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method



How to Write a Novel
Using the Snowflake Method
Someone recommended this book to me after I said that I can't plot and have never been able to. I wish I could remember who it was that made the recommendation because I owe her big time. I opened it one night just to glance at it and stayed up past my bedtime reading most of it in one sitting. I rushed to finish it the next day and immediately bought the sequel, How to Write Dynamic Scene using the Snowflake Method. It's a how-to book in the form of a fairy tale and it shouldn't work, but it totally does. I found the techniques simple and easy to understand and, by telling it as a story, I had no trouble seeing how each step worked. I have been using this method for about a week now, and the plan for my novel is coming together. I am a little slow because I only have so many ideas at any one time, but the ideas are coming and I am beginning to see how to put them together.

I have always wanted to write fiction but never could find a way to wrap my head around the how of it all. I can put words together okay. My dialog and descriptions are fine and I even write decent, if not brilliant, scenes. What I don't ever know is what happens next. By separating the who (the characters) from the what/why/how (the plot) and moving you back and forth from one to the other, the plot grows organically and you can focus on what is inspiring you most at any one time. Everything is done in small steps and you can go back to something and redo it or develop it further if an idea is sparked in a later step.

I don't care about being the next big thing. I would love to have people read and enjoy my writing, but I'm not holding my breath. Right now, all I want to do is write a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end that work together and entertain me and my few readers. If the first one is bad but I learn something then it's a success, as long as it inspires me to keep going. This book, more than most, makes me think that I can actually do that.

Six enthusiastic stars.

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