The SnowFlake Method by Randy Ingermanson

Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:09 pm
Platform: Windows
Location: Portland, Oregon area

Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:31 am Post

Not new by any means but has anyone bought or used this program and given it a shot?
The concept seems promising in laying out a basic project then expanding on it.



Posts: 1684
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:22 pm
Platform: Mac

Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:42 am Post

I've not used the program, but the snowflake method itself is fairly logical and is very easy to replicate using the basic Novel project template in Scrivener (numbers are the steps in the snowflake method):

1) for the 'expanding' document synopses steps, just create the necessary documents ('1 - One paragraph', '2 - One paragraph', '4 - Four Paragraphs', '6 - Four Pages' etc somewhere outside the Draft/Manuscript folder in the binder. Use snapshots here (and throughout) to keep track of your various versions of each document.

2) use the standard Scrivener novel character sheets (or make your own) and gradually expand them for the '3 - Characters', '5 - Character synopsis' and '7 - Character charts' steps. Again, take regular snapshots so you can roll back if you want.

3) Create the '8 - Outline': one document per scene, in either outline or cork board view, whichever you prefer, using the synopsis for brief descriptions. Use Keywords / Statuses / Labels etc to keep track of things like POV character, location, tension etc.

4) '9 - Narrative Description' -- expand the synopses for each document (or use the notes or the document text itself -- up to you)

5) '10 - First Draft' -- write the thing...

I think there are some basic Snowflake method templates around on the net, but it's very easy to create from scratch -- I've got one lying around somewhere if it would be of interest.

User avatar
Posts: 3568
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:32 am
Platform: Mac
Location: London or Exeter, UK.

Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:02 pm Post

Don't know if this is of any help or is still current. ... ou-and-me/


The Scrivenato sometimes known as Mr X.
rMBP 13" (early 2015) 10.13.3, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSID
MBP17" (late 2011) 10.13, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSID
iPad Air 2, iOS 11, 64GB
Scrivener, Scapple, Nisus Writer Pro, Bookends …

Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:09 pm
Platform: Windows
Location: Portland, Oregon area

Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:20 pm Post

Thanks folks,

Your replies indicate it does not save any effort/time nor offer anything that is not available in a basic Scrivener project template.

Posts: 2417
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:05 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: UK

Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:49 am Post

Like brookter above, I believe that the philosophy behind the Snowflake Method and the steps its inventor prescribes to put it into practice are pretty good ones. When I used to make factual TV programmes, one of my colleagues had a rule that I did my best to adopt: "Never make a TV programme that can't be expressed from the outset in a single sentence with a subordinate clause." That's a similar rule to Ingermanson's Number One Proposition, and it certainly worked for me (of course the single sentence with its subordinate clause can change as your ideas evolve). It's also related to Winston Churchill's critique of his dessert (which can be used for any piece of creativity): "This pudding has no theme."

Hold the obverse - that to be satisfying, TV programmes, novels and puddings need themes - in your mind as you write, and you'll always know what you're about.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

User avatar
Posts: 204
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:23 am
Platform: Mac
Location: Near Munich, Germany

Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:08 am Post

xiamenese wrote:Don't know if this is of any help or is still current. ... ou-and-me/



Just when I was struggling to set up Scrivener like she did eons ago, you came along. Thanks.
There are three kinds of people: those who can count and those who can't...

Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:51 pm

Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:29 pm Post

Has anyone used this method with nonfiction writing?

Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:29 pm
Platform: Mac + Windows

Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:58 pm Post

rickdude wrote:Has anyone used this method with nonfiction writing?

The author, Randy Ingermanson, claims to have used his Snowflake Method to outline several of his novels and discusses it in his blog: