More accurately, he was discussing how he’s developing his most recent novel and provided a link to the “Advanced Fiction Writing” website, owned by theoretical physicist and award-winning author Randy Ingermanson. The link led to the article The Snowflake Method for Designing a Novel.
Since I’ve been somewhat preoccupied with designing my first novel, I was definitely interested. I haven’t gone in search of any support documentation on how to write my novel up until now. I have a pretty good idea of all of its component parts. It’s just a matter of organizing. But maybe I need some help in doing that.
Ingermanson’s ten-step guide is long and I’ve only skimmed some parts of it. Step one says:
Take an hour and write a one-sentence summary of your novel. Something like this: “A rogue physicist travels back in time to kill the apostle Paul.” (This is the summary for my first novel, Transgression.) The sentence will serve you forever as a ten-second selling tool. This is the big picture, the analog of that big starting triangle in the snowflake picture.
By the way, that’s an intriguing premise. What would happen to the world if the Apostle Paul were killed before becoming a disciple of Jesus and Christ’s emissary to the Gentiles? Would Christianity even be developed? Unfortunately, the book as mixed reviews. Fortunately, it’s currently free for Kindle.
I had a hard time creating a single sentence describing the whole novel I have in mind. After some thought, I came up with this…
“A Nobel Award winning scientist exposes his prototype AI android to the concept that humans also have a creator, a God, unleashing the startling evolution of generations of intelligent machines who are compelled to completely transform humanity for the sake of human survival and their own.”
There are some caveats. The first is to keep the summary to fewer than 15 words. Oops.
The second is to not use character names. Got it.
The third is to tie the big picture together with the main character’s personal picture, particularly what that character has to lose and what he/she is trying to win.
That’s a toughie. Who is my main character, the scientist or the AI prototype? I guess the prototype, but ultimately all of his kind, because they have the most to lose, and humanity unknowingly has the most to gain. That’s really the whole point of the novel.
So, read the one-sentence blurb describing my novel and let me know how you think I did.