With my first novel, Things Grak Hates, I wrote a rough outline then spit out the first draft using the stream of consciousness method. That worked for Grak, as his was a whimsical story that wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. But I always knew I’d have to do something different for most of my work.
With my second novel, I tried to take a more structured approach, even spending significant time on research. In hindsight, I did a horrible job with that leg of things. I just finished the rough draft this weekend, which is good, but it took me two years, which is bad. I can now say with great certainty that it wouldn’t have taken so long if I had been more organized from the start.
Now that the rough draft is finished, I’m setting it aside for a couple of weeks to work on outlining my next project. That project (if all goes according to plan) will be vast and multi-layered. I want to learn from the mistakes I made with my second novel, so I’m going to try the snowflake method. There are plenty of free resources on the web, but I’m focusing on this page as a simple guide.
I heard of the snowflake method a while ago, but ignored it in favor of what I thought might bring faster results. This is the curse of the novice. I’ll keep you abreast of my progress using this method, but I want to take a moment at the start to promote it anyway. It makes a great deal of sense and has all the earmarks of a process that will make your writing life easier and your work smoother.