So, I am part way through applying the Snowflake method to my novel and the process has me pondering what it would have been like if I’d done it at the start of my novel rather than doing it part way through.
I’m pretty sure that I could have gone through the process as outlined and completed all the steps successfully. But it wouldn’t have been this book. It would have been some other book altogether.
Is that a bad thing? Probably not. I mean most novels end up somewhat different to how they began, don’t they? Still, that novel (if written entirely to the snowflake) would have been more linear, and the characters simpler and either more like each other or more stereotypically different.
Why do I think that? Because the process of sitting down and mapping out your entire story over a few weeks using incremental expansion, is a very linear process. It’s like being the guy/gal who takes a picture and decides where the edges of the jigsaw pieces will be. The picture is always going to be a rectangle, with the pieces neatly forming that shape.
Faster? Yes. Tidier? Yes. A good way to get a solid draft? Yes.
And I’m sure that would be a wonderful thing for many writers, but I don’t think it’s for me. Why?
Because for me writing a novel is a process of discovery and because to make my characters as rich and non-stereotypical as I hope they are, I need them to grow in chaotic space where they are individuals and not part of a set. I also shudder at the thought of getting a solid draft together and then having to completely rework it to include the hundred ideas that will make the story to spill over the edges of the jigsaw.
So the snowflake method is probably not how I will start future novels, but I’ve yet to finish the process of retrospective application. Stay tuned!