Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Learn To Write A Novel With The Snowflake Method

A writing friend from NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) suggested that I check out "The Snowflake Method". This is her fourth year, or perhaps it was her fifth year, entering NaNoWriMo. All her years have not been a success, but last year's novel got sent off to a publisher.

As I am always eager to learn how to improve my writing skills, I quickly pulled up Google and typed in "Snowflake Method". On a website named: AdvancedFictionWriting.com, I learned that Randy Ingermanson, a doctor of physics, had fathered this promising novel writing method.

Being a commercial site, I feared that I had to purchase an expensive book, but although he sells a lot of his material through this site, his famous Snowflake Method was posted there as an article that I could read for free.

In short, The Snowflake Method consists of ten steps in how to structure, or "design", as Ingermanson likes to call it, the process of writing a novel. The novelist begins with creating a one sentence summary of his or her novel, and then moves on to flesh it out into a paragraph which describes: backdrop, story set-up, conflicts and ending. From there, I will not paraphrase it all, the novel grows increasingly more complex in structure.

The Snowflake method is an interesting approach, a manageable way to finish a novel, which I am eager to try out. In contrast to the organic method where the novelist writes blindly, or "discovers" his or her novel, this method is for writers that prefer organization and structure. In other words, it's a scientist's approach to fiction writing! And as I was a science major in college, it appeals to my way of thinking.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I Am Getting Published!

Every Day Poets, an online fiction and poetry magazine, e-mailed me today. They are going to publish my poem Unwanted Gift. A publishing date has not been set yet, but this is exciting news for me.
Unwanted Gift is a small poem, 70 words, that I wrote last December during my annual Christmas blues. This means that I can channel my pessimism into something constructive, and perhaps I will be able to write another one, or maybe even a few new good ones, this year. There is hope, and the season to be jolly is almost here.