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How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method (Advanced Fiction Writing Book 1)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,307 Ratings  ·  190 Reviews
A Magical Key to Unlock Your Creative Wizard

Are you writing a novel, but having trouble getting your first draft written? You’ve heard of “outlining,” but that sounds too rigid for you. You’ve heard of “organic writing,” but that seems a bit squishy to you.

Take a look at the wildly popular Snowflake Method—a battle-tested series of ten steps that jump-start your creativ
Kindle Edition, 235 pages
Published July 16th 2014 by DitDat, Inc.
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Juli Hoffman This book only has 10 steps broken down into manageable pieces. I really think the author explained his method in the simplest way possible. Step 1:…moreThis book only has 10 steps broken down into manageable pieces. I really think the author explained his method in the simplest way possible. Step 1: What's your story going to be about in one sentence? Now, only 9 more steps to go! Good luck and happy writing!!!(less)
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Katie Grace
This is my new favorite book, and I'm totally going to use this for every novel for the REST OF MY LIFE.

So everyone needs to go read it next time they're plotting a novel. :P
Jan 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick review for a quick refresher read. I picked this up as my first read of the year because of some of the goals I'd set for myself in the new year. Granted, I have my own method of writing that I follow with composing a novel, but I always like to look at other methods and processes, and see how they may work for me.

I've known about the Snowflake Method for a while now, but this was my first time perusing this little book with its creative explanation of it. I liked it, even if sometimes the
Olivia Jarmusch
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll begin this review by saying that I am a discovery writer. I LOVE beginning with several vivid ideas, then allowing the story to ebb, flow, and take shape as the story grows into a life all it's own. BUT I know this isn't everyone's style. When people ask for writing advice from a panster like myself, it can be hard to know what to say. I don't have a "method" or "system" for my creativity, and I can't offer much more than, "Just write from your heart!" But that doesn't cut it for most peopl ...more
Dylan Perry
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2015

This book.

My God.

I haven't even started writing a novel using the Snowflake Method (though that will change very soon) and yet I feel this has already helped my craft. (I'm somewhere between a 'pantser' and a 'plotter') From beginning to end I loved every sentence of this and how the steps of the Snowflake was told through a story, rather than presented as dry text.

As I said, I haven't used the Snowflake yet. Some of these 10 steps might not work out for me. But one thing is sure: This book
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I just finished typing up a review for this book and it appears to have been lost. I'll try again although I don't think I have the patience to recreate the whole thing.

There are two types of writers, as I understand it, "pantsers" and "planners."

Pantsers write by the seats of their respective pants. They just sit down and they write. They do no planning ahead of time... no outlining. Planners, of course, plan. They are the opposite of pantsers. They carefully plan out every detail of their nov
Clare Farrelly
This book is amazing. I have never read such a fun writing book before. Sure I have read other good ones but this one was so engaging. The first more than a half is written as a novel in which the main character is being taught how to outline using the Snowflake Method. It is kind of like you as the reader are also sitting in the class and you can go off to do your homework on your story as the main character does.

To give you a bit of an idea the teacher is called Baby Bear and the main charact
D.K. Davis
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book Review – How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method

Author – Randy Ingermanson

Genre – Non-fiction, Novel Writing Reference Book

First Line: Goldilocks had always wanted to write a novel.

Review: Mr. Ingermanson not only gives the step-by-step of the Snowflake Method of plotting, but he also gives an example through “story” – the one he’s written along with his explicit detailed steps.

I’ve tried a number of ways to write my story and I’m always looking for the one that will tip the scale
Tricia Mingerink
Things I loved about this book:
It is a book about writing, so non fiction. But it's also a fairy tale retelling and a murder mystery. And, somehow, that all works. Even if you aren't a plotter, every writer should read this book just to appreciate how hilarious and interesting a book on writing can be.

I'm afraid I'm not a snowflake method writer. Sorry. Actually, I'm pretty sure my process is the snowflake method done backwards. While I have a ton of writer friends who found this book ve
J.F. Penn
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, writing
Excellent book with writing tips in an easy to read parable format. The snowflake method might be for you if you sit between plotting and pantsing.
Kristen Stieffel
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
This book is a parable—a teaching mode that works brilliantly in short form but often strains credulity at book length. But Ingermanson makes this work because the story he uses to frame the lessons also demonstrates the lessons. So by the time you reach the end, you not only have the principles of the Snowflake Method, you’ve seen them applied.

I appreciate that Ingermanson emphasizes that this is just one method, and a writer may find some parts useful and others not. That was the case for me;
DNF'd for now, at 56%. I wasn't a huge fan, though this book did teach me that I'm more of a pantser than I'd thought.

For plotters searching for a new outlining method, you might enjoy this one. :)
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All Fiction Writers
How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson
Of Kindles, Fairytales, and Snowflakes: Why Randy Ingermanson Might Be the Best Storyteller Ever!

Winter is a great time for me to work on my writing skills. The weather prevents outdoor activity (temps barely above freezing today) and the toasty wood fireplace is conducive to creativity. With that in mind, I loaded my Christmas present, a Kindle Fire 6, with several writing craft books - my focus as always on plotting.

The first book I opened was Randy Ingermanson’s How to Write a Novel Using th

Paula Berinstein
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Unbelievably useful! After years of writing fiction I thought I had it all figured out but this book is making the process faster and helping me create better stories and characters. I recommend it highly!
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Note about the rating: if you find this concept interesting, snatch the book by all means. It's only a depiction of the value that I personally got with it as I've known and applied it before reading the book. I sincerely hope Mr. Ingermanson won't take it as a slight.

If you're remotely interested in being a writer but don't know how to construct your writing process, or you're looking to find some ways to tweak an already existing one, this could be a great resource. It brings a new approach th
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have scribbled on and off for years and have an assortment of uncompleted novels which I have lost interest in. The idea of this book appealed to me and when I started reading it I was totally engrossed in it. The author uses fairy tale characters in a writing workshop scenario to demonstrate the ten steps of the snowflake method for planning and drafting a novel.

The idea might seem a bit twee but like the famous management book about change 'Who Moved my Cheese?' stories and story book charac
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
Very clever!

I read this more out of interest than actually looking for something to help me write a book, its something I'd like to have a go at one day but not now. However seeing how logical and simple the snowflake method is actually made me want to have a go at it!
Yes the bears etc could annoy you I suppose, I'm a big fan of horror and space operas and didn't find the names off putting at all. Its nice to read a book with easy names rather than an author trying to come up with made up Frenc
I first encountered the Snowflake Method in the early 2000s, shortly after Randy Ingermanson posted it on his website. I never managed to get through more than the first three steps, but now, many years of writing later, I can see how some of the later steps would be useful. I'm definitely never going to go through them all exactly as written -- you need to customize the process a little bit to make it work, I think.

The fairytale/parable framing was charming. I enjoyed the Big Bad Wolf and Robi
Recommended for: Aspiring writers who have no problem dreaming up good scenes for their story, but have trouble seeing the big picture, a.k.a. Dramaticus meanderus.

There's nothing wrong with the method. It is as it comes advertised- a compromise between detailed outlining and writing by the seat of your pants, between architects and gardeners. Like most systems or strategies for story-writing, one can only try it and see if it works.

I give it the 3 stars not because I like the method, but becaus
Natalie Walters
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed Randy Ingermanson's twist on a "how-to". The creative way in which he explains the process of planning out a story gave me a different perspective on the process and excites me to start implementing it in my own story. He doesn't make any promises that this method will work for all writers but merely offers this as another approach that may work for some. I think most writers will find value in a least one of the steps of the method.

Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The parable format is a little goofy at times, but pretty fun for a writing craft book. A short quick read with a good into to a hybrid (plotter-meets-pantser) writing approach.

Best For: Beginners
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I can totally see myself using this method for finally writing my novel!
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this in one sitting. I think it deserves 5 stars. Inspirational and makes total sense.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was amazed to read this book in one day!

At first I couldn't get into the book, and thought about putting it down completely when I reached the stage that the author talked about J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter at times as Harvey Potter! Once I battled with my annoyance and got past these errors, I quite enjoyed reading on.

I liked the way the book was presented as a story (full of familiar characters!). It all made perfect sense with some excellent examples on using the Snowflake method. I think I
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: informational
This book details how to write a novel using the "snowflake method". However, the entire book isn't boring a plain infomercial, it's also the story of how Goldilocks wants to write a book. Ideas of persistence and trust are most critical in this novel while emphasizing the importance of dedication to one's work.
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kind of cheesy, but chock full of helpful ideas and direction. Helped my writing journey by showing where holes in my planning were. Will definitely utilize this resource many times over.
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: writing, dnf
This book wasn't for me. Not only did I find it unhelpful (too basic), but the cutesy narrative quickly got on my nerves. I picked this up to get some useful writing tips, not to read about Goldilocks and the Big Bad Wolf. It's the sort of approach that might be effective on people who hate to read, but Mr. Ingermanson is writing specifically to AUTHORS. Besides, by sugar-coating all this "boring" information until it resembles a glazed Krispy Kreme donut dipped in chocolate fudge, what might ha ...more
Shelby Rush
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most inspiring and most helpful book on writing I've read. I actually got teary-eyed. Finally, here was someone who understood just what I was facing ... and gave me practical steps to overcome my confusion. I bought the Snowflake software after reading this entertaining analogy. The software gives me structure; I've taken my concept from a one-sentence description to a full-blown synopsis with well-developed characters. I needed someone to hold my hand through the process. Thanks so much, R ...more
Norma Huss
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
Although I've been writing for several years, I like to read up on all kinds of writing books. I think this is quite a good book for someone beginning, partially to decide what kind of a writer one is. We've all heard there's the outliner and the pantser. This is a third way, and shows it clearly. I think I'm sort of a fourth way. There are probably as many ways to write as there are writers for each must find his or her way to satisfaction. (I guess, just like life itself.) So, while I find thi ...more
Emily Wrayburn
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, ebook
I've been interested in the Snowflake Method for a while and this was a really good expansion on the page about it that Randy Ingermanson has on his website. I'm really keen to give it a try and see which bits work for me
Marina Stavropoulou
The method seems really great but the book is like it's written for idiots. The paradigms and dramatisation were completely unnecessary, in my opinion.
We'll see if the method actually works in November. I'll be using it for NaNoWriMo, using a template for Scrivener.
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I'm a novelist, physicist, and fiction teacher. People around the world call me "the Snowflake Guy" because of my wildly popular "Snowflake method" for writing a novel.

I've published 6 novels and won about a dozen awards for my writing. I'm a theoretical physicist with a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. I publish the world's largest electronic newsletter on how to write fiction. I run the software divisio
More about Randy Ingermanson
“For a novelist, being ‘too emotional’ is often a good thing. The only thing you have to sell is your emotional experiences.” 2 likes
“Actually, the author’s job is more complicated than that,” said the Big Bad Wolf. “When an author gets a revision letter, she’s required by law to call her agent and complain bitterly about her mean, nasty, cruel editor who has bacon for brains. She whines and moans and complains for three hours. If she’s the emotional sort, she cries big buckets of tears. If she’s the unemotional sort, she makes secret plans to send her editor a letter bomb. Then her wise and brilliant agent talks her off the ledge, reminds her that she signed a binding legal contract, and suggests that maybe her editor might have said one or two non-moronic things in the revision letter.” “And eventually, when the author’s sanity returns, she rewrites her manuscript,” said Baby Bear.” 1 likes
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