• How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method

  • Advanced Fiction Writing, Book 1
  • By: Randy Ingermanson
  • Narrated by: James L. Rubart
  • Length: 5 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (273 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 listeners say about How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method

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

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.

8 people found this helpful

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Painful

Only Chapter 19 was necessary. The rest of the book is fluffed up with a fictional story meant to frame the process, but it undermines the promise of the book: an instruction manual for a writing method. I understand it was also meant to illustrate the process, but when 90% of the book is unnecessary, it leaves the reader feeling cheated.

As if that wasn’t enough, the audio quality leaves much to be desired. The narrator also has a habit of breaking up every sentence into small chunks of words. It’s as if he recorded only 3-4 words at a time.

4 people found this helpful

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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.

17 people found this helpful

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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 people found this helpful

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  • ES
  • 03-18-19

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.

6 people found this helpful

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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.

11 people found this helpful

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loved it.

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

5 people found this helpful

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Holy Smokes This Book Was Hard To Get Through

I wasn't able to finish this book - I felt it was condescending and hard to find the message it was trying to teach. I am very disappointed from failing to learn from this book.

1 person found this helpful

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I'd suggest other writing books instead

I had seen references to the "Snowflake Method", so I wanted to find out what it was all about. But the first 18 chapters are a fairy tale-style story about someone who wants to be a writer. About 20 torturous minutes in, I decided to check reader reviews, and thankfully one of them explained that the actual "how to" content doesn't really begin til Chapter 19.

Fast-forwarding to Ch. 19, I couldn't discern anything unique about the Snowflake Method, and I would not recommend this book to either experienced OR beginning novelists.

Do yourself a favor and listen to "How to Write Best-Selling Fiction" by James Scott Bell/The Great Courses instead. It's a phenomenal, engaging 12 & a half hour master class, and includes a PDF download of the entire text. If you're not sure you're that serious yet, try one of the other many good writing books out there.

--source: I'm a published novelist and have read dozens (hundreds?) of books on how to write.

1 person found this helpful

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Sent it back.

Silly. Insipid. I didn't like Goldilocks or the three bears even when I was a kid.

1 person found this helpful

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  • VGNSK8RQU33N
  • 07-10-18

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ruth
  • 08-21-19

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • M Bailey
  • 01-02-19

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 person found this helpful

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  • S. Browne
  • 04-03-18

Inspirational

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs. N. Rees
  • 01-10-18

Excellent x

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bob Cunningham
  • 01-04-21

Useful book. Awful narration

This book is ideal for its intended audience - aspiring writers.
It’s a good way to explain the process and elaborate on the steps involved.
However, I really wish the author had found a better narrator.
His reading of the dialogue is so stilted and disjointed, with stress and inflections in all the wrong places, it made for an annoying listen.

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  • Sandy J.
  • 06-04-20

Great audio book but not the best format for this

using a good story and relatable characters the snowflake method is explained very well and at a good pace. I'm glad I listened but will need the free PDF mentioned to use this info.

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  • Natalya
  • 11-08-19

Magnificent!

A wonderful book which helped me A LOT! It's so well structured and logical on the one hand, and gives space for creativity on the other. And audio version is just incredible:)

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  • Adeleke Adewole
  • 09-14-19

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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  • Ritch
  • 02-09-19

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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  • Heikki P.
  • 03-22-18

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.