1. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    Snowflake Method

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by drifter265, Feb 27, 2013.

    Anyone know anything about this? I'm thinking of using it. Is this how it works?

    step one - write one sentence about your story
    step two - write a paragraph summary on that sentence.
    step three - take each sentence of the paragraph above and make a paragraph summary of that
    step four - just keep taking sentences and creating summaries

    Is that how it goes? Does anyone have experience with it? Was it useful?
     
  2. TracyH
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    TracyH Member

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    Sounds a bit confusing and repetitive, but I suppose I'd have to read an example, I may be missing the point. :confused:
     
  3. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Why not just write the story? :confused:
     
  4. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    I'm not going to do it. I've already started writing my story. I've finally figured out the outline after months of planning it. It's basically memorized in my mind. Every detail. Now the hard part...
     
  5. Jetshroom
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    Jetshroom Active Member

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    Google it. There's a guy who has a website about it. It's more extensive than what you describe.

    It's very analytical and scientific in it's approach to writing fiction. It has helped me A LOT, but only because I tried it and adapted it to my own writing style.
    Some people it will be nothing more than an exercise in futility.
     
  6. jwideman
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    jwideman Senior Member

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    I've tried it. I found it sapped all the joy out of writing and when I got to step 10, where you actually write the story, I no longer wanted to. I know this method works for some people, but I don't know anyone who has written anything marketable using it except for the guy who invented it.
    There aren't many rules in writing, besides grammar and spelling, and even those are subject to interpretation. There is no one right method, nor is there even a wrong method. If it works, do it. If it don't work, do something else.
     
  7. Oswiecenie
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    Oswiecenie Active Member

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    Turning something that's supposed to be fun into rocket science? No thanks.
     
  8. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    Yeah, I agree. I hated it by step two and how comprehensive and exhausting it was. I'm just going to write my way ;)
     
  9. Oswiecenie
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    Oswiecenie Active Member

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    Best choice you can make :)
     
  10. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    Find something that works for you. I found that acting out the scenes and recording them I was able to piece scenarios together.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    using any formula negates the whole idea of 'creative' writing, imo...
     
  12. jwideman
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    jwideman Senior Member

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    I strongly disagree. Formula is not a dirty word. It's only when the formula is obvious that it's bad. Piers Anthony's Xanth series is very formulaic, for example, but his audience eats it up. Same with Lester Dent.
    There's a difference between a creative writer using a formula and an uncreative writer doing so. In the first case, you don't notice the formula.
     
  13. muscle979
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    muscle979 Member

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    People who like to outline probably get the most benefit from it. I found it tedious. After the sentences and the paragraphs it asks you to give character descriptions. Then it has a section for organizing and planning out scenes. I suppose at some point you get to actually write the story. I abandoned the snowflake because my story was still just a concept and I couldn't meet all of the snowflake requirements. I wanted to just start the story and see what happened.
     
  14. Talmay
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    Talmay Member

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    I use it to summarize my work. It gives me the bigger picture when I'm lost in the tiny details. Helps me focus.
     
  15. spartan928
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    spartan928 Member

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    Snowflake is a method for organizing your writing, not a formula. The concept is simple. Start with broad story concepts and build upon it until you have a solid framework to start your first draft. I don't take the whole method literally, but I like the method in general. I like to work out scenes in more detail earlier than he suggests. However, I like to outline, and if you don't, this method won't tickle your fancy. I like to know where I am headed or I end up with pages and pages of crap that I end up deleting and wasting hours of precious writing time. A formula has more to do with the form and content of writing, not so much the process of writing.
     
  16. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I would hardly hold Lester Dent up as evidence that formula is not a dirty word. The Doc Savage stories are the first I ever read that I knew sucked. I had decent taste even when I was ten.
     
  17. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I wrote two feature scripts like that but never a novel.
     
  18. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Having a formula is ok if it's yours, or if you've adapted one for your writing approach. Usually it's pretty soul-destroying trying to work to someone else's formula otherwise. As a teacher, I can say it's like attempting to teach totally bound by another person's lesson plan--I can't work out how their head is working half the time and stuff that is logical to the other person isn't to me.
     
  19. TimHarris
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    TimHarris Senior Member

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    For me, that style of writing is too methodical. I am a discovery writer, meaning I make up the story as I go along, with only a rough idea of what I want the story to look like. Sure, I end up with a lot of useless garbage that I end up tossing, but I find that this method allow me to be more creative, and more open to explore things I discover along the way. I understand that this method is not for everyone, and that some people prefer to plan their story in advance, and have every detail worked out before they begin writing, but for me, it just drains all the joy from the writing process itself.

    I suggest you try the snowflake method, see how it works out for you. If you dont like it, just do something else instead.

    The method is explained in detail here: https://www.google.no/search?q=Randy+Ingermanson&aq=f&oq=Randy+Ingermanson&aqs=chrome.0.57j0l3j62.339&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#hl=no&sclient=psy-ab&q=Randy+Ingermanson+snowflake&oq=Randy+Ingermanson+snowflake&gs_l=serp.3..0i19j0i30i19l3.7788.9479.0.9633.12.6.1.5.5.0.198.936.0j6.6.0...0.0...1c.1.5.psy-ab.u1JTJaJBTUg&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.43148975,d.bGE&fp=d6f89aff66f504f5&biw=1918&bih=1019
     
  20. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    I used the Snowflake Method for my first novel, which was a year and a half ago. I tweaked it slightly to suit me, but it worked well. However, when beginning my later novels I simply wrote down what would happen on 1-2 sheets of A4 and then get crackin'. Tastes and opinions change when you gain experience. :)
     
  21. Eric242
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    Eric242 Member

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    I realize the original-poster has decided to write their way (kudos!), but I thought I would give my 2 cents on the snowflake method. I have not used the more technical version of it that people have been describing, but I find it a good way to start planning the basics of a story sometimes.
     

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