Well, this is the first in what I hope will be a series of posts about exploring my writing process – specifically while using Randy Ingermanson’s “The Snowflake Method” (Amazon: here).
A friend and fellow writer told me about this book a few months ago and I was skeptical at best. I mean – c’mon, really? What could some rando guy self-publishing on Amazon tell me about writing what I didn’t already know? I mean, if I couldn’t get it from Stephen King’s “On Writing” (great book on writing, by the by) or any of the million classes I’ve taken in the past, is it really worth it?
…imagine my surprise when the answer to those questions turned out to be: yes; a lot; and heck yes!
Your mileage may vary, of course, but after reading it cover-to-cover I was so excited to get started on my novel again that I could hardly contain myself.
You see, Randy puts it down in a super easy-to-follow little story and breaks the whole novelling process down into manageable chunks. It is way harder to get overwhelmed and end up just staring at a blank page, when you’ve got things set-out in a bunch of reasonable steps.
A lot of people will say – why bother outlining like that? True art must flow! Blah blah blah.
True art can suck my dick.
I have been a pantser for years. I love surprising myself with the things that come out of my brain. And this doesn’t stop that from happening, so to hell with that objection. But I often get stuck in the middle. Or I’ll reach a sticking point with no clue where to go and end up procrastinating for AGES while I mull about where to turn now.
This method doesn’t prevent that – nothing could, because I still am a discover-as-I-go writer – but it does mitigate the effects. I can’t get TOO stymied, because I already have ideas in place for where things are headed. IF they change as I go, that’s great, I can edit the plan. But this way, I’m never grasping at straws.
I think the biggest recommendation I can give the book is that it really turned my husband on to having a process. He is also a pantser from way back. And this gives him just enough structure to let it flow, but not so much that he feels constrained and non-creative. After we read-up on the method together, he has been talking almost non-stop about his projects and we’re both setting aside time on the regular to really get going on it.
There are too many words in our brains to keep them bottled up forever!
So, I’m taking TSFM and starting one of my projects from scratch this month. I am going to go step-by-step and work it out and finally, after months and years of “thinking” about this novel… I am going to FUCKING WRITE IT!!!
So I can get back to being a “real” writer and stop just pumping out terrible RP shorts based on our Pathfinder games. Tee-hee!
Tonight? Choosing my project. I’ve got a lot of them half-fleshed out (or more) and I need to choose one to focus on.
Will it be “Madaya” at last? Will I go with Rudabet’s tale? The shopgirl in space? The sci-fi morality tale about a pair of nobodies who jack-in to a VR game and then can’t get out? The fantasy western with the migration? A real novel about Rhiallis? A dozen others I can’t even remember? Jeesh! Maybe project number one should be just to organize my ideas so I can choose!
Anyway, come back in a week or two for more updates on TSFM!
Note: Image is “TSFM” by Me