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How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method

Advanced Fiction Writing, Book 1
Narrated by: James L. Rubart
Length: 5 hrs and 1 min
4 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A magical key to unlock your creative wizard

Are you writing a novel, but having trouble getting your first draft written? You've heard of "outlining", but that sounds too rigid for you. You've heard of "organic writing", but that seems a bit squishy to you.

Take a look at the wildly popular Snowflake Method - a battle-tested series of 10 steps that jump-start your creativity and help you quickly map out your story. All around the world, novelists are using the Snowflake Method right now to ignite their imaginations and get their first drafts down on paper.

In this book, you'll follow the story of a fictitious novelist as she learns to tap into the amazing power of the Snowflake Method. Almost magically, she finds her story growing from a simple idea into a deep and powerful novel. And she finds her novel changing her - turning her into a stronger, more courageous person.

Zany, over the top, and just plain fun

How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method is a "business parable" - a how-to guide written in story form. It's zany. It's over the top. It's just plain fun. Most important, it's effective, because it shows you, rather than telling you.

You'll learn by example how to grow your story idea into a sizzling first draft.

You'll discover:

  • How to define your "target audience" the right way, so you know exactly how your ideal listeners think and feel. Forget what the experts tell you about "demographics."
  • How to create a dynamite selling tool that will instantly tell people whether they'll love your story or hate it. And you want them to either love it or hate it.
  • How to get inside the skin of every one of your characters - even your villain. Especially your villain.
  • How to find a deep, emotively powerful theme for your story. Do you know the one best point in your novel to unveil your theme - when your listener is most eager to hear it?
  • Why backtracking is good, even essential.
©2014 Randall Ingermanson (P)2017 Randall Ingermanson

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Childish story that outlines the method in detail.

This book was entertaining and also somewhat exhausting to listen while commuting. The message is wrapped around characters of various children's fairytales, which make it a bit weird, but which at the same time enlightens the listener about the method. Recommend it to people to find out more about how Snowflake method can be used in your writing.

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  • Scott
  • 07-08-2018

Easy to understand "How-to" book...

This is a great beginners book on how to write a novel. It covers the basics of defining your audience, how to properly work out your characters, planning your story, setting up conflicts, etc. The book does a fine job of covering this information in an easily digestible manner.
What sets this book apart from others on the subject, for me, is in how the information is presented. Instead of telling the information, the author SHOWS the information in action. The Snowflake writing system is presented by having the main character, an aspiring novelist, take a class on, you guessed it, the Snowflake Method. As the information is being presented to the characters by the professor, all of the action going on around them, and the events happening to them provide a wonderful example of the system at work. So, in addition to learning how to write a story, you also get an engaging story that shows the system in action. Presenting the information in this manner made it easy to understand, and helped cement it in my head. Personally, I gained a lot of knowledge on how to write my story in an effective, simple to understand manner.
In addition to the author having an effective book on writing, with an engaging storyline, the narrator did an excellent job of giving each of the characters their own distinct voice, which not every narrator succeeds at. It made the entire book a very enjoyable, easy listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Khoa Ly
  • 01-02-2018

incredibly helpful methods for beginners

as a beginner fiction writers, I find this book extremely helpful. must read. it help me organize my thoughts and work better. the style is fun and the story is enjoyable. if all writing and literature classes could be like this, we would have many more creative writers.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-03-2019

Couldn't finish it

I agree with others that the "story" format is distracting and annoying. I got half way through, around step 5, and I couldn't tell you what any of the steps were or why it's called the Snowflake Method, I was totally lost. Maybe it's because I got the audiobook version.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Edriss A.
  • 23-09-2018

What a waste of time

I understand the attempt to tell a story within a story to try to show how to write a novel. That's been done before, however, what made this unbearable was to listen to the narrator change the pitches of his voice to depict the range of nursery rhyme characters stuck in a classroom lead by Baby Bear.
Fighting my way through listening to all of this just to get my credit's worth was brutal, but then to find out that all that was necessary was the final chapter which was summarized point-by-point in a normal voice made me think that there was so much hype and fluff and so little substance.
Just get a hold of the last chapter somewhere online and you'll get the breakdown of the snowflake method.
Take it from the narrator, himself, who admits that the Snowflake Method "just does NOT make good audio".
Wish this was made clear before I made the purchase.
This shouldn't even be listed on Audible for that very reason.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Tyler
  • 13-02-2019

Shockingly Bad

The irony is astounding.

The author spends a great deal of time teaching his readers that we need to understand our audience, yet he painfully misunderstands the audience for his own book. His audience is adult writers who are looking for mature, well-articulated help with their writing, yet instead he writes as though his audience is children who need to be pandered down to. The book is a narrative between Goldilocks, the three bears, and every other children's tale you can imagine. Baby Bear tries to teach Goldilocks how to write, and we have to sit through all the lame antics a setting like this would create. It seemed like a forced, awkward situation that I assumed was just a "playful" introduction, but as I kept fast forwarding to get to the "real" book, I soon realized the ENTIRE book was written in this painful, immature, out-of-touch format. The only thing that makes it worse is the male narrator trying to do voices for Baby Bear and Goldilocks. Ugh.

When waterboarding prisoners won't work, interrogators should torture them with this audiobook instead. Even innocent people will confess in seconds.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Art
  • 23-02-2018

loved it.

stick with it. seemed silly, but ended up brilliant. highly recommend this for writers struggling with their stories.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Sandra De Palma
  • 06-10-2019

Worst book ever!

I could barely keep myself awake while listening to this. I can’t tell you how it came out in the end because I never got there!

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  • Jerusha N.
  • 03-10-2019

Okay for a beginner, Not for advanced writers

I had already heard about the snowflake method and had an understanding of what it was through what I found online. I hoped this would delve more into the method, but for me, it was a waste of time.

The writer wrapped the information in the veneer of a story about an aspiring author going to a writing conference. This made it lose its impact, as the information was sprinkled throughout the "story" parts which didn't help absorption. At first, I kept hoping the Goldilocks fluff would stop and they would get to the meat and potatoes, but I figured out soon enough that this was going to be the whole book. I tried to slog through it, but six or seven chapters in, I gave up.

If you're brand new to writing and need information spoon fed to you, this could be a good book for you. If you have already been studying the craft, then save yourself the annoyance of wasted time and just look up the Snowflake Method online. you'll get all this information in a 15 minute blog post.

Edit: Other reviews noted that chapter 20 contained a summary of the information without having to slog through the ridiculous Goldilocks scenario. I went back to listen to just that chapter and stand by my previous statement. Look it up online and save yourself the time and money because even that chapter wasn't worth using a credit or buying the book.

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  • Francine Zane
  • 04-08-2019

Love the Method

While I love the snowflake method and have recommended it for years, this 'fairy tale' while creative, got on my nerves after a while. I wanted an audio version of what I was already familiar with. It does bring to life the method though.

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  • Chadd C. Bylsma
  • 19-07-2019

Creative help for new writer.

I liked the clever presentation of the information.
I listened to the book and believe that if the information was presented just as a lecture I might not have listened to the whole process.

I am inspired by this method.

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  • M Bailey
  • 02-01-2019

Somewhat long-winded

I've read the book and thought I would absorb it more by listening to it instead. However I do feel that the story, and therefore the audio book, can be long-winded to make a simple point. Some of these points are very good, but they can feel buried in the story, especially when Goldilocks and the Wolf argue in the lesson.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • SK8LING
  • 10-07-2018

Somebody Hand Me A Flamethrower

The sample didn't seem so bad but hours and hours of it?! Oh. My. Dog. TORTURE, this was. Goldilocks is a such an annoying whiny jerk drama queen with a SERIOUS personality disorder, her classmates are no better and Baby Bear is so obviously a drug addict.
There's some good advice here couched in a whole lot of mind-numbing drivel; you might want to take quick notes from the get go so you NEVER have to endure this book again - go straight to chapter 20 where the whole thing is summarised. Better yet, go to the author's website advanced fiction writing dot com where it's all written down. Face palm.
Borrow it from the library if you're still curious, but I seriously do not recommend buying it. A fictional curse on everyone who raves about it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • S. Browne
  • 03-04-2018

Inspirational

This is a great listen for all aspiring novelists who want to write their book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs. N. Rees
  • 10-01-2018

Excellent x

Easy to understand and implement not to mention entertaining. Highly recommend to any newbie writer x

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Adeleke Adewole
  • 14-09-2019

Gave me loads to think about

This book is written using the Snowflake Method. the method itself encourages the writer to front load the structure and outline of the novel before even writing the first draft. Excellent.

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  • Ruth
  • 21-08-2019

Re-hash of much better books

There's a handful of useful tips in here but there is so much time-wasting that it was unbearable to read. I couldn't get past the irritating narrative style and found myself inwardly screaming at the author to just get to the point.
I'd recommend just finding a summary of the actual "method" and instead reading "Save the Cat' and 'Story', which make the same points but much more thoroughly, and with none of the badly-conceived subplot. If you're new enough to writing to really need something simpler, try 'writing down the bones' instead.
Ingermanson's casual gender stereotyping also made this a pretty painful read in places.

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  • Ritch
  • 09-02-2019

A must for any logical new writer

Mr Ingerman teaches a logical way to develop a novel, and brings it to life with a novel technique.

I've never read a fictionalised non fiction book before.

My Portuguese isn't great but imagine Paul Rabbit turning metal into gold.

I loved every word of it.

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  • RhonaF
  • 28-05-2018

what a great book...

step by step for a complete novice like myself..takes you through the process witj a completely engaging story

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-05-2018

good advice

A great method for putting a book together. Set alongside a story, which may put some off. Skip to chapter 19 for straight talking guidance. Overall though some good advice

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  • vicky
  • 12-12-2017

this was a great book!

I was surprised how much the book hooked me. very clever way of explaining the Snowflake method within its own story book. I will definitely try to take on the Snowflake method with my first book x