When I was just getting started and finding my place within creative writing, a lack of planning in my stories would always seem to be my downfall. My short stories would seem directionless. Any longer, multi-chapter story of mine would be full of plot holes and inconsistency and a weak plot in general. In addition I would often get stuck on what happens next because I didn’t have a good grasp on what I wanted my stories to look like in the end. This was so frustrating that I almost quit writing all together; I thought it probably just wasn’t meant for me.
However, upon reading writing advice articles one day online, a particular one caught my interest: The Snowflake Method for Designing a Novel.
In this article, the author explains that good novels aren’t just created from thin air – they’re designed carefully. This applies even before the first word of the novel is set down. The author shares his method of systematically planning any story, called the Snowflake Method. This method entails starting with a single general, broad idea for the story and then fleshing it out gradually, like designing a snowflake – each detail starting off broad but then becoming an intricacy. With this type of careful planning, the author can know exactly where their story is headed before even officially beginning it, and thus will never be stuck on what happens next. This can smooth inconsistencies and create a unified, well-written story that doesn’t fall apart after a few chapters.
I get overwhelmed by the sight of a blank page and I can’t bring myself to begin a paper while having neither a plan nor direction. Implementing this method has helped me become so much more confident and prolific in my writing.
This article made me realize that good writing is like a well-designed building. Writing is essentially architecture with words instead of wood and a finished story instead of a new house. The process begins, first and foremost, with a well thought out blueprint. The blueprint progresses into a solid, tangible framework. The framework allows a strong foundation to be built. The foundation upholds the main structure. And once that’s done, there’s ample time for polishing and detailing and minor reworking without worrying the whole structure might collapse.
There’s still plenty of room for creativity; more than enough to keep writing exciting.