Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Snowflake Method - Step 5

First off, my apologies for having this latest entry on the Snowflake Method be so long in coming.  Life gets in the way, etc., etc.  Anyway, on with the show!

So, we are now to Step 5 of The Snowflake Method.  This is, technically speaking, the half-way point in the 10-Step process.  However, realistically, you are more like a quarter of the way through your efforts to write your great novel.  I don't say this to be a downer or otherwise dissuade you from continuing.  I just want you to realize that there is still a lot of work left for you to do, and each step will get progressively longer to complete than the previous step.  But, like before, each step will help you expand on your story idea, and get you to the finish line - a completed first draft of your novel.

Step 5 builds off of your work from Steps 3 and 4.  Step 5 has you writing a (roughly) one-page story synopsis from the point of view of your main characters.  For you minor characters, you would do just a half-page.  This will be a really fun step to go through, because you will end up learning so much not only about your story, but about your characters as well.  Things will really start to come alive now that you are putting your characters into the story, plus you get to see things from their perspective.

This step will take a while, especially if you have a number of characters already.  But, don't think that these only have purpose to your story.  They can also be used to help weave a highly intriguing story summary that you can use as promotional materials for your book, on the back cover of your print version, in descriptions for your ebooks, and more.  I know that going through this step with my main characters helped them to become more personal to me, more real.  I understood them better, and could really see how they would interact with each other and their surroundings.

As with previous steps, I'll give you a little bit of an example from my current novel-in-progress.  This is a paragraph of the character POV synopsis for one of my characters, John:

The set of coordinates with the key ring bring them to a small, old, run-down church. John tries to convince Sammy that they should stop, but he eagerly unlocks the padlock on the front door and goes in. The inside of the church is no better than the outside, and birds and other animals have started making it their home. The only thing that stands out is the untouched Bible on the rotten pulpit at the front of the church. Sammy starts to look around the pulpit and the Bible, wondering how it got there and why, when a trap door opens where he is standing behind the pulpit and he falls in.