What Is The Snowflake Method? Top 10 Benefits Of Using It

As a snowflake develops from its core, it extends in each and every direction, severing into additional branches that give it a noteworthy volume and spatial structure. The process of writing can evolve along these lines if you start with a straightforward premise and develop your story from that point.

What Is The Snowflake Method? 

The snowflake method, made by renowned writer and authoring educator Randy Ingermanson, is a procedure of creating a novel from scratch by beginning it with a fundamental story summary and adding components from there.

snowflake method


What Are The Advantages Of Utilizing The Snowflake Method? 

The benefit of the snowflake method is that it offers a midpoint between the formality of customary outlines and the spontaneous methodology known as freewriting.

This makes the snowflake technique an engaging prewriting strategy for authors, irrespective of their levels, from anyone who’s wondering about it.

The essential advantage of utilizing the snowflake method at the beginning of the creative process is its natural helpfulness to free-thinking and discovery.

Customary one-page plot or multi-page frameworks can turn out to be wonderful for some fiction writers, as can notecards on a blackboard, yet these processes can sometimes be pointlessly cerebral.

How To Use The Snowflake Method 

To start utilizing the snowflake method, think about a story idea and depict it with a one-sentence synopsis. For instance, the sentence could be something like: “Two youngsters find a mysterious cavern that contains treasures that a group of crooks has been hunting for the last three years.”

The snowflake method then expects you to develop that sentence into a section or a paragraph, utilizing that paragraph to create character portrayals. From that point, you utilize those portrayals to make a progression of storylines that involve those characters.

This process of laying out a novel traverses outward until you have a completely outlined novel, similarly as a snowflake develops from a solitary drop of water.

Stages Involved In The Snowflake Method

The following are some of the stages involved in the snowflake method:

Stage 1: Create A One-Sentence Story Synopsis

Embody what your novel is about in a single sentence. You may likewise call this ‘the hook’: a line that you can use in practically any circumstance to get anyone intrigued by your book.

This will firmly relate to the theme of your novel. While building this single sentence, it’s critical to avoid specific details. For example, a character’s name isn’t as valuable as a reference to their personal goals or motivations. For this progression, you are encouraged to limit the sentences to 15 words or less.

Stage 2: Develop It Into A One-Paragraph Outline

If you are envisioning the snowflake metaphor, then you know that the triangle transforms into a star. Constructing the details in your one-sentence outline, add a couple of components here and there until you have retold your story in five or more sentences.

This is the place where you will present your significant plot focuses. In case you’re an admirer of the three-act structure, you’ll need to include:

  • The Exposition – Which is essentially the status quo at the beginning of the story
  • The Primary Plot Point – A significant occasion that commences the story
  • The Mid-Point – Where things start to take a turn
  • Plot Point Two – Where your character winds up in a sorry situation and starts turning things around
  • Climax And The Resolution – When the story will be resolved at the end

It is worth investing energy into nailing the synopsis. You always have the option to return and revise if things change, but having these plot points established since the very beginning will help you in the subsequent stages.

Stage 3: Start Small With Your Characters

Since you’ve begun extending your perspective on the plot, Ingermanson proposes shifting down a gear and painting your characters with wide brushstrokes.

This is the place where you recognize all the significant characters in your book, give them names, and spend some time and energy distinguishing them:

  • Inspirations – What provides acceleration to them to move forward?
  • Objectives – What are their goals?
  • Conflict – What stops them from accomplishing their objectives?
  • Revelation – How do they get an epiphany to overcome those conflicts?

Toward the end of this stage, you’ll have an idea of the significant players’ character arcs.

Stage 4: Expand Your Paragraph Into A Single Page

Ingermanson considers this stage to take a couple of hours, as you blow out each sentence of your one-passage synopsis (stage 2) into a full page. To form your story into blocks that are straightforward to compose, you can end each paragraph with what he calls a ‘calamity’ — which you may think as a significant “plot twist or a cliffhanger.”

Stage 5: Character Bibles And Character Abstracts

This is the main stage where you, the author, will deeply focus and get your hands filthy. Equipped with your short character outlines and your one-page plot, you will now make a one-page dossier for every significant character (and a half-page for the minor ones).

On the off chance that you need more direction, you can discover different online guides for fleshing out characters or download free character profile templates. By diving deep into your main characters’ backstories, you’ll probably find reasons why they may act with a specific goal in mind during your story.

When your character bible is finished, then you can compose an abstract for each character. This includes sketching out each character’s journey through the novel.

This is maybe one of the most valuable factors of the snowflake method—particularly when you’re composing for plot-heavy genres, for instance, mystery or thriller. What a character knows at some random point in the book will factor intensely into whether the story ‘works.’

So we should assess the situation: you have a long summary, character bibles, and fleshed-out story outlines for each character. This leaves just one stage in your preparation.

Stage 6: Compose A Four-Page Summary And A Scene List

Recall how you extended each sentence of your short summary into passages to frame your long abstract? Here, you will viably do the same: taking each paragraph/section from the long outline and letting them breathe over a page each. Organically, you may get the desire to write descriptively; however, oppose that inclination and keep each sentence as firmly focused as before.

And then, finally, you’ll need to draft out a scene list, where you will detail precisely what will occur in each scene of your book.

Final Thoughts

Obviously, there’s considerably more to the process than what’s been listed above. But this blog is aimed at giving you a better understanding of the snowflake method, which will guide you in your journey in case you are still curious about how to become an author. On the off chance that you need to hear it directly from the source, you can always purchase and read Ingermanson’s book on the Snowflake Method.

Robyn Matthews started writing about technology when she was far too young and hasn't stopped. She spends most of his time obsessing over computer software and hardware, and loves talking about herself in third person.