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A Unique Approach for Overcoming Writer's Block



Staring at a blank page sucks. You have ideas swirling in your head, but when you try to put them on paper, they just won't come out right. Frustrated, you put off writing, hoping that inspiration will strike later. Days turn into months, and you're no closer to finishing your children's book. This cycle is known as writer's block, and it's the biggest hurdle standing between you and becoming a children's book author.


Writer's block is a common challenge, even for the most successful authors.


The “Poor Planning” Trap


Many authors don't realize that writer's block is a hurdle that can be overcome with the right approach. Too often, the resources available online offer only generic advice. However, it's important to understand that writer's block is often caused by inadequate planning.


Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Method offers a unique approach to properly planning your writing. This method involves systematically developing your book before starting the actual writing process, which can eliminate the overwhelming feeling of not knowing where to start.


Here's a breakdown of how it works:


Step 1: One-Sentence Summary


Imagine your entire story condensed into one concise sentence. This sentence should capture the essence of your plot, including the main character, their goal, and the central conflict.


Example: A lonely bunny goes on an adventure to find new friends.


Step 2: One-Paragraph Summary


Expand on your one-sentence summary. Briefly describe the main events that will unfold as the character pursues their goal. Include the initial situation, a few key challenges, and a hint of resolution.


Example: A lonely bunny named Benny longs for friends but feels too shy to talk to anyone. One day, he decides to leave his burrow and explore the forest. He encounters a grumpy badger, a playful squirrel, and a wise old owl. Through his journey, Benny learns the importance of being brave and makes some wonderful new friends.


Step 3: Character Sketches


Develop your main characters. Create a brief profile for each, including their personalities, motivations, and any quirks that make them interesting for children.


Example:


  • Benny the Bunny: Shy and gentle, longs for friendship but lacks confidence.

  • Mr. Grumbles the Badger: Initially grumpy but has a hidden soft spot.

  • Pip the Squirrel: Playful and energetic, helps Benny overcome his shyness.

  • Olivia the Owl: Wise and kind, offers Benny guidance on his journey.


Step 4: Scene Breakdown


Break down your story into key scenes. List them chronologically, focusing on the major turning points and events that drive the plot forward.


Example:


  1. Benny feels lonely in his burrow.

  2. Benny decides to explore the forest.

  3. Benny meets Mr. Grumbles the grumpy badger.

  4. Benny meets Pip the playful squirrel.

  5. Benny receives advice from Olivia the wise owl.

  6. Benny overcomes his shyness and makes new friends.


Step 5: Enhance Your Scenes


Now, take each scene from your breakdown and add details. Consider the setting, dialogue, and actions that will bring the story to life for children.


Step 6: Write Away!


With a strong foundation built through the Snowflake Method, you're ready to draft your children's book. Use your outline as a roadmap, but don't be afraid to add creative detours and surprises as you write.


And incase you’re wondering, the name “Snowflake” reflects the idea that a novel can start with a simple idea (like a single snowflake) and gradually grow into a beautifully complex structure.


That’s it for this week. See you again next week. Happy writing!


 

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