Taking time to plot my book

I’m trying something new.

Usually when I plot a new novel, I work chapter by chapter having a fair idea of the story and how it will end. I also add notes on the conflict for each scene and every chapter’s cliff hanger.

But I’m experimenting with a different approach called the Snowflake Method. Right now, I’ve just finished Step 2 – expanding my original one line pitch (which was Step 1) to a paragraph incorporating the three story ‘disasters’ and the ending. Although my single paragraph is actually five.

The love interests. All characters will be fleshed out during the next stage of the Snowflake Method

My author senses are already making me edit.

There’s one plot twist and a character that are probably not needed. I’ve changed the text to the questionable plot twist to blue, although while writing this blog, I’m figuring it might be an interesting journey for the reader.

The possible redundant character is a female robot named Escher. She is the sidekick of a main protagonist. The image I’m using for her is steam punk, but as I look over these paragraphs, the story can be told without her.

My initial concept for a character who may not stay

There’s also a new method I’m going to use for world building.

This is a Space Opera and there are several planets I need to flesh out, so I’m considering a visit to the modern art museum for inspiration. While there, I’m going to use the role-playing game Luke Miller describes in his author handbook, Journey. It includes prompts to imagine worlds outside of my usual thinking patterns by considering factors like if there is local vegetation and if it is a food source. Or does an animal exist in this place and what is its usual mood?

Empress Alexis is the mother of both Scarlett and Mateo

My notebook will be working overtime before I even pen the first chapter. But this method promises to shorten the length it takes to write a novel. As author Randy Ingermanson (who has created this technique) says:

“I have seen writers triple their fiction writing speed overnight, while producing better quality first drafts than they usually produce on a third draft.”

I hope so. Covid has put my writing output far behind, and yes, I can already see the advantage of this process.

UPDATE: I’m taking a break from this particular work in progress. Although I have some really good ideas for this project, another idea has sparked my author imagination.

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