Snowflake Method Outline

Randy Ingermanson developed the popular Snowflake Method for planning novels. He claims, ‘Good fiction doesn’t just happen, it is designed.’ He suggests that to design a novel you start small, then build up until it looks like a story. This plan helps you define your plan in brief, then build on that until it is a one page story outline.

To learn more about the Snowflake Method visit Randy’s Advanced Fiction Writing website.

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Write a one sentence summary of your novel: This should tell the story in as few words as possible, ideally less than 15. This is the big picture of your story, it will serve as your ten second selling tool if you need to pitch your novel.

Expand your sentence to one paragraph or around five sentences, describing the story narrative, major events and the ending.

Explain the setting and introduce the lead characters.

Explain the first quarter of the book, up to first disaster, where the hero commits to the story.

Explain the second quarter of the book, up to the second disaster, where the hero changes his mode of operations.

Explain the third quarter of the book, up to the third disaster, which forces the hero to commit to the ending.

Explain the fourth quarter of the book, where the hero has the final confrontation, and either wins or loses or both.

Now expand your paragraph into a one page summary.

Create a one page story summary. Expand each of the sentences in your previous summary into a full paragraph. All but the last paragraph should end in a disaster. The final paragraph should tell how the story ends.

Please note: You must use Build my story summary if you wish to save or export your plan.