Your Novel is Like a Snowflake

Writing a novel is easy. Writing a good novel is hard. That’s just life. Frankly, a thousand people can tell you how to write a novel using a thousand different methods. The best one is the one that works for you.

The system that works for me is to design my novels through what I call the “Snowflake Method.”

How do you design a novel?

In my day job, I design large software projects. I write novels the same way I write software, using the snowflake metaphor. To get an idea what that’s about, check out this web page.

At the top of that page is a pattern known as a snowflake fractal—an important mathematical object. What makes it interesting is how easy it is to draw.

Start with a triangle and revise each side of it over and over, using a simple pattern. Before you know it, you have a complex, beautiful, elegant pattern. That’s also how you design a novel. Start small, then build it up until it looks like a story.

Guide your imagination
Part of this is creative work, and I can’t teach you how to do that here. But part of the work is managing your creativity. That’s what you’ll learn during my session at next month’s Writing for the Soul conference.

If you’re like most writers, you spend a long time thinking about your novel before you start writing. You research. You daydream. You brainstorm and think about your theme. I call this composting, and it is essential.

My Snowflake Method is what you do after you’ve composted. It’s 10 steps that make writing your novel easier. Sign up for my session, and see if it will work for you.

Randy is the award-winning author of six novels and two nonfiction books. His most recent book is
Writing Fiction For Dummies. He holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from UC Berkeley.

Photo credit: luigi diamanti

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