The Snowflake Method for Writing a Novel

Posted on June 9, 2005

How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson

Here is a unique way to tackle the problem of writing a novel. Randy Ingermanson, a physicist and the author of Double Vision, has applied the concept of the snowflake fractal to writing a novel. Ingermanson shows how building a novel is like building a snowflake as you go from a very basic shape to the finished product: a complex and completely unique snowflake.

Ingermanson says, "I claim that that's how you design a novel -- you start small, then build stuff up until it looks like a story. Part of this is creative work, and I can't teach you how to do that. Not here, anyway. But part of the work is just managing your creativity -- getting it organized into a well-structured novel. That's what I'd like to teach you here."

Ingermanson's snowflake method includes the "Ten Steps of Design." The first step in the ten step process involves writing a one-sentence of your novel. Ingermanson says this sentence will become your "ten-second selling tool."

Other steps along the way include expanding that first sentence, writing character summary sheets, writing a novel synopsis and developing character charts. In the final step you pound our the first real draft. Ingermanson says, "You will be astounded at how fast the story flies out of your fingers at this stage."

You can find an explanation of the Snowflake Method here. The Snowflake Method is also available as a book, How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method. It is available for purchase on in ebook and paperback formats.

Updated: 4-26-16

Photo: DitDat, Inc.

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