Plotting using The Snowflake Method

My last post was about a new plotting method I’m using.

A few things got in the way of my usual writing days after I published that post, and somehow I didn’t feel bad about missing them. It was because I didn’t feel like I was working on a book.

There were a few times I yearned to start writing and shorten my planning stage, but after I did Step 3 (creating character profiles which explored their motivation, goal, conflict, epiphany, and a paragraph detailing their story in the overall plot), I now feel a novel is forming.

Empress Alexis and her daughter, Scarlett

I can see how this will fast track my writing process.

Parts of the story are fleshed out in a way which doesn’t happen until the second or third draft. As I delved into each character’s story, the overall plot was amended. And it made a lot more sense.

In the past my works in progress rest for three months between drafts, then I read them right through to see what needs fixing. Often I make a note to add a scene or chapter which is currently ‘off stage’ so the reader can sense a progression in a character. But with the Snowflake Method several of these have already been ‘discovered’ as I fleshed out each character’s role in the plot, then reworked the entire outline.

My initial concept of a character who may not stay

This process has also verified something I’ve felt.

Before I began, I realised Alfie, my initial main character, is too passive to be the star. So I considered telling this in first person through Mateo whose motives are questionable. As I flesh it out, I realise my instinct was right. His personal journey is much more grand than Alfie’s.

Regardless, this will be written in Third Person Limited giving life to all players as they are all becoming much too interesting.

The love interests

There is much more work to do.

I’ll need several more planning days before I type the words ‘Chapter One’. There’s still a character who contributes little to the plot and could easily be deleted, but I don’t want to ‘rub her out’ yet. I already have a twist which could make her more interesting based around the fact she is a robot. But I’ll know for sure the next time I work on this novel.

Even though I’m still in the planning stages, I’m enjoying the process. I no longer feel I’m wasting time because I know once I begin writing this novel, I’ll already have done most of my ‘imagining’.

UPDATE: There have been more times I’ve felt like ditching the process and going back to my own, but I’ve just started Step 5 and am finding myself fleshing out more of the story which would normally be expanded after several drafts. So, I’ve started loving the process as much as I love writing.

Oh, and Escher the robot is staying now. She has a new sub-plot which weaves into the major plot, and will be a lot of fun to write.

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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