inspiration, process, Revision, Writing Exercises

Snowflake Method 2

TLDR: Accepting imperfection doesn’t mean abandoning the goal of perfection.

I’ve finished step 8 of the Snowflake Method. The ending was a big challenge. I rewrote the outline of the ending multiple times, trying on different mixtures of events and characters to see what produced the most drama. After that I looked at what I had and realized, “This is all much too easy on my characters.” My heroes’ actions had gone basically according to plan.

That’s no good.

So I threw it all away and rewrote it with everything going wrong, especially the main character’s decisions. After all, one of my main character’s primary attributes is the ability to make consistently bone-headed decisions. I couldn’t ignore this fact in Act 3!

Three things helped me get through this part:

1. Acknowledging that nothing was set in stone (nor will it ever be). I can still go back and make changes.

2. Time limits: Sometimes I would tell myself that I had until the end of one or another epic fantasy cover to write a scene outline, then I had to move on.

3. No rules: There’s nothing I can or can’t do during this process. If I feel like writing a snippet of conversation between two characters, I do it. It doesn’t matter if I’m supposed to be outlining a scene from the high level.

It’s wild. I feel like I’ve written a novel even though all I’ve got is a lengthy outline and detailed character descriptions. But I’ve got so much more than that. I’ve got a view of the whole forest. I’m not lost in the trees.

The Snowflake Method was successful for me this time when I failed before because this time I recognized the imperfections that were necessary to move forward, I held those imperfections with patience and addressed them later on… some I haven’t addressed yet, but I have faith in the process.

There is a forward movement to writing and a looping backwards. There’s expansion and contraction. That’s what I’ll talk about next week.


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