I am going through a big binder of novel writing printouts I’ve been “meaning” to read for ages. This includes “The Snowflake Method,” by Randy Ingermanson.
It’s actually an interesting approach! The idea is you take one sentence, and then expand that, incrementally. In theory, that’s what you do even if you open Word and start at the beginning.
I like the clear direction and structure of this approach, and intend to try it on my next novel. (Yes, I’ve started my next before finishing my first!)
If you’re really interested in the details, I recommend you click over there for Randy’s full instructions. Here’s my 98-word summary of how to write a novel.
How to Write a Novel: The Snowflake Method
1. Write one sentence summarizing your novel.
2. Expand that to a full paragraph.
3. Write one summary paragraph for each major character.
4. Expand each sentence of your book’s summary paragraph into a full paragraph.
5. Write a one page description of each major character, and a half page each for other important characters.
6. Expand the one-page plot synopsis from step 4 to four pages.
7. Expand your character descriptions into a full page, detailing everything about them. Most important: how will they change by the end of the story?
8. Using the four-page synopsis, list of all the scenes you’ll need to turn the story into a novel.
9. Write a multi-paragraph description for each scene.
10. Fill in the holes, and finish your book!