When I first started writing, I had the same idea most, or at least, many new writers have. All I wanted to do, was write the damn book. Get it out there, I’d made the decision to write, so that’s what I wanted to do.
So I did, then edited it, got a headache, maybe cried a little along the way. Then sent that chaos of a book to my friends and… let’s just say it wasn’t very good. Which is why I decided to start outlining. For my own sanity.
So, in my first week of writing this book, I tried a new outlining technique called: The snowflake method. Because why do the things you always do, right?
You can find an explanation of how it works, from someone that actually knows how it works, at the bottom of this post.
A short explanation of the snowflake method, is starting small, and expanding on it. Honestly, sometimes it felt more like a snowball. You write down the beginning, middle, and end, then start to expand those into larger explanations, larger blocks. But when I did it, I kind of went overboard.
The beginning steps were quite normal though. I wrote down the start, then the middle, then the end. No big deal. But after, since this story had been stewing in my head for so long, I had to expand that. And expand it I did… Instead of writing every scene or chapter idea I had in about two lines of text. I think the first chapter I outlined was about 600 words. And I continued that way, for all of last Saturday and Sunday, hoping I’d finish the outline then.
But the outline kept growing and growing. And every time I thought to myself to go at it smaller, that I’d expand it while actually writing the damn thing, I just got sucked into the outline more. While I don’t think this is the preferred method of implementing this outlining technique, it did feel right to me. After all, I feel certain I’ll make less mistakes during the first draft. There’ll be fewer inconsistencies, and I know perfectly what goes where, and who says what. It makes me more confident to start writing it, which, by the time I reach the middle, will have to pull me through.
The outline clocks in at about 26000 words. Which is about 60 pages worth. Which is far from where I thought I was going to get.
But you see, since this method works organically, and really pulls you in, it feels like playing around. As if every letter on the page makes it so you’ll get another one in there. Things just connect, and while starting off might be a little hard, if you’ve already got a good idea for your story’s structure, or just your idea, you’ll get there.
Curious to learn how it works from someone who actually knows how it works? Look right here: https://jerichowriters.com/how-to-plot-a-novel-snowflake-method/
And I’ll see you next week, when I’ll report on my first week of actual writing.