Monday, 14 October 2013

Planning Footsteps with the Snowflake Method

I'm in the planning stage for my first complete children's novel:  Footsteps.

The first 20,000 words will form the creative piece for my dissertation,  By the time the dissertation is finished, I should be deeply into the story and characters and I hope I can go on to complete the full novel without too many hitches.

We are always told that professional writers fall into 2 camps:  those who plan their novels and those who just get a rough draft down first.  The former approach can stifle creativity in some writers but the latter approach is likely to require many cycles of re-writing.  All books need huge amounts of editing and re-writing, but I can see that time spent in advance planning ought to mean fewer and less extensive re-writes.

So I've decided to have some sort of planning phase.  I can't bring myself to just sit down and work out all the scenes and chapters.  This might work for some people, but I just don't think that way.  I've heard about a method that allows you to start off with an story idea, and then expand it into a paragraph, and then do the same with the characters, and then expand the paragraph into a synopsis and then put more flesh on the characters.   And so on, until you have all the scenes set out.  I'm talking about the Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Method.

I don't know yet whether it will work for me, but it seems a good place to start.  I am not intending to complete all the steps before I start writing the novel, but I will aim to do as many as seems sensible.  I will then write a couple of chapters, review my draft Snowflake plan, amend it and possibly complete more stages of the Snowflake, then write more chapters etc etc.  In this way I hope to get the main benefits of planning without it holding back my creativity.

I will report back in this blog on how this works out in practice.

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