Because it works!
Let’s be clear that different writers are different.
Some writers thrive on the “seat-of-the-pants” method. Stephen King is a pantser. So is Anne Lamott. They write great fiction and SOTP works for them.
Some writers work from a highly detailed outline—a synopsis that may be 50 to 100 pages. Robert Ludlum was famous for his long outlines. He was a great writer and outlining worked marvelously for him.
But some writers love the Snowflake Method—a series of steps in which you start with the germ of a story idea and build it out bit by bit. Some writers’ brains are wired to work this way. And many of them write great fiction.
About the Snowflake Method
The Snowflake Method doesn’t make you more creative. You already are incredibly creative.
The Snowflake Method just suggests where to apply your creativity next. It makes Snowflakers more efficient in writing their first draft.
There is no one method that works for everybody. The Snowflake is the method that has worked Xtremely well for me. And it’s been thrilling to hear from so many writers around the world who say that the Snowflake works for them too. The Snowflake page on this web site has been viewed more than 4 million times. Every month, it gets about 50,000 more page views.
Several years ago, I heard from a writer in Nigeria who had visited my site that January and got inspired. By July she had written her manuscript (about Nigerian scammers), got an agent, and sold her novel to Hyperion. A couple of years later, that novel won the Africa Commonwealth Prize.
Your mileage will vary, of course. Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani brought a ton of talent, drive, and creativity to the table. The Snowflake Method gave her a simple path to follow to get her story written. But she had to walk that path. You have to walk your own path, and it won’t be easy. But the Snowflake Method is designed to guide you along the way, to shorten the path.
My New E-Book
I’ve been working really hard for months on a new e-book solely dedicated to the Snowflake Method, and I did something different this time.
I wrote the e-book as a story—about a young writer with a dream to write a novel.
All her life, she’s been doing what other people tell her to do, putting off her dream and being practical.
Now she’s tired of doing what other people want.
She wants to follow her dream.
But she doesn’t know how to get started.
She needs a little direction, so she decides to go to a writing conference.
Below is an excerpt from Chapter 1. You’ll see right away that this story is quirky, zany, and over the top. As you get into it, I hope you’ll find that it goes deep into the art of story.
You’ll see that the story itself practices what it preaches. In the chapter on Disasters, there’s a disaster. In the chapter on the Moral Premise, there’s a Moral Premise. The chapter on Reactive Scenes is a Reactive Scene.
My goal is to make learning simple and easy, by showing you a real live example of how it’s done.
Excerpt from “How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method”:
Chapter 1: The Impractical Dream
Goldilocks had always wanted to write a novel.
She learned to read before she went to kindergarten.
In grade school, she always had her nose in a book.
In junior high, the other kids thought she was weird, because she actually liked reading those dusty old novels in literature class.
All through high school, Goldilocks dreamed of writing a book of her own someday.
But when she went to college, her parents persuaded her to study something practical.
Goldilocks hated practical, and secretly she kept reading novels. But she was a very obedient girl, so she did what her parents told her. She got a very practical degree in marketing.
After college, she got a job that bored her to tears—but at least it was practical.
Then she got married, and within a few years, she had two children, a girl and then a boy. She quit her job to devote full time to them.
As the children grew, Goldilocks took great joy in introducing them to the stories she had loved as a child.
When her son went off to kindergarten, Goldilocks thought about looking for a job. But her resume now had a seven-year hole in it, and her practical skills were long out of date.
The only jobs Goldilocks could qualify for were minimum wage.
She suddenly realized that being practical had made her horribly unhappy.
On a whim, Goldilocks decided to do the one thing she had always wanted more than anything else—she was finally going to write a novel.
She didn’t care if it was impractical.
She didn’t care if nobody would ever read her novel.
She was going to do it just because she wanted to.
For the first time in years, she was going to do something just for herself.
And nobody was going to stop her.
* * *
About the Book
The 19th chapter is a quick summary of the Snowflake Method.
Chapter 20 shows the complete Snowflake document which I used to write the book. A Snowflake about the Snowflake! Very meta.
I’ve just released this e-book on all the major retailers.
Amazon has a cool new tool that suggests the price that will earn me the most money. They suggested that I price the book at $5.49. But I rejected that suggestion.
My goal right now is to get my book into the hands of lots of writers, so I’ve slashed the introductory price to $2.99.
See the e-book on Amazon: $2.99
See the e-book on Kobo: $2.99
See the e-book on Smashwords: $2.99 (any electronic format, including PDF)
Please note: Prices outside the US may not be exactly $2.99, but I’ve done all in my power to get them as close as possible to that price on as many retailers as possible.
Will There Be A Paper Edition?
Yes, there will be a paper edition very soon. I’ve submitted it to Amazon’s CreateSpace service and I’ve jumped through all the hoops. I’ve ordered the proofs of the paper edition, and they should be arriving shortly. It will take me a day or two to check through them, and then there’ll be a short delay to complete the process. I hope the paper version will be done within about a week. Paper costs more than electrons. At 233 pages, the book will have to be priced at $9.99. I’ll let you know when it’s ready.