2. Where to start: The basics of structure

So you’d like to start writing. It doesn’t really matter what you’d like to write about. You have to start somewhere. But if you want to write, you’ve already began the creative process. 

I came across the Snowflake Method on a writing forum about a year ago. The basic idea is to start small and build your story from the ground up. The guy who came up with this method, Randy Ingermanson, is a novelist. But I think his advice applies to any writer looking to improve their structure, their flow, and their voice. There are several steps to his process, but I think the first is the most important. 

  1. Write a one sentence summary of the story you’d like to tell. If you’re going to take one thing away from my blog, please have it be this: be concise in your writing. Nobody ever explained this to me as I was growing up. It’s such an important part of writing well, and it takes a lot of pressure off the reader. Being able to write an entire story idea in one sentence is a good way to get in a concise mindset. Can you summarize a 1,500 word piece, or an entire novel, into a single sentence? Sure you can. Focus on the story’s significance. Focus on why you’ve chosen to devote your time and energy into the piece. Really ask yourself: why should anyone care about what I have to say. And then say that. 

If this made sense to you, check out the rest of the Snowflake Method here. Remember, this was designed to write fiction, but I think it can be applied to any piece of writing that relies on a story. And most writing does. 

Write on, 432. 


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