Bright New Beginnings
New Year, New Decade, New Stories To Tell...
January is all about new beginnings, so it seems like the perfect time to share a little about the very first step in our creative process when it's time to begin a new book!
Ideas are a dime a dozen; it's what you do with them that counts, and that means lots of brainstorming. Now, the best brainstorming method for fiction that we've ever come across is called (aptly enough for this time of year!) the Snowflake Method.
It was devised by author Randy Ingermanson, an actual ex-rocket scientist! (so yeah, he's pretty smart, lol). He called it the Snowflake Method because it's based on fractals.
A fractal is defined as: "a curve or geometric figure, each part of which has the same statistical character as the whole. Fractals are useful in modeling structures (such as eroded coastlines or snowflakes) in which similar patterns recur at progressively smaller scales, and in describing partly random or chaotic phenomena such as crystal growth, fluid turbulence, and galaxy formation." (Thank you, Google.)
Fractals abound in Nature. Some think of them as God's fingerprints on Creation. :) I figure, if anyone knows how to go about creating good things, it's probably Him! Anyway, when something is a fractal (like the curl of a conch shell, or the leaf of a plant, or a snowflake!) it means that whether you're looking at something on the tiniest scale or the hugest scale (like the spiral of a galaxy), the pattern of the shape is the same.
You wouldn't think you could apply a mathematical concept like this to an art like fiction writing, but you can! Doing so allows you to create a story that is a harmonious whole, without odd bits or random chunks of plot being tacked on that don't really belong.
As complicated as it might sound, though, it's actually very simple. The way Ingermanson suggests we apply this to writing is simply to start any small fragment of an idea you have for a story.
Just one short sentence of about 15 words or less will become the seed for an entire novel. Depending on how you word it, or what the emphasis is within that sentence, it can alter the whole shape of the eventual novel.
This is the tiniest level of the book, so it's important to get it right. From there, the next step, the second design level up, is to spend time brainstorming "3 disasters and an ending."
The disasters eventually become the pivotal moments or plot twists at the end of each act (say, about every 100 pages or so), and then the climax at nearly the end of the book. Voila!
The Snowflake Method is a great way to structure your brainstorming time so that it's efficient rather than wandering all over the place. We love it, and we're so glad Randy Ingermanson thought of it!
If you enjoy writing and want to learn more, investigate the Snowflake Method here.
Until next month, guys ~ and Happy New Year! :)
A Gift for You! Especially for those who love "A Christmas Carol" and savor the joys and traditions of a Victorian Christmas. From now until this coming Monday (12/16), we are giving away the eBook version of JAKE & THE GINGERBREAD WARS over at Amazon. This is our mid-length novel connected to The Gryphon Chronicles series, but written as a stand-alone. It can easily be enjoyed without having read the rest of the series. Help yourself to a FREE eBook copy from us. You are more than welcome to share this announcement with family and friends who you think might be interested. This book will make you feel like a kid again. :)
A very special thank you to all of our wonderful readers for your patience and support on this long journey. We are so happy to share these adventures with you. We love each and every one of you and appreciate you so much!
Here's a little Gryphon Chronicles-themed fun to help celebrate our new release. Find out whether you're destined to be a Guardian, Empath, Witch/Wizard, or Medium. Enjoy!
Ta-daaa!!! Below is a sneak peek of THE BLACK FORTRESS. Oh, are we excited for you to sink your teeth into this book. It's been a long time in the making and now we are only a few short weeks away from the BIG release on November 1st!!!
We wanted to let you know that all 3 editions will be available at Amazon on release day: eBook, paperback, and hardcover. In-fact, if you like, you can CLICK HERE to pre-order the eBook and it will automatically be delivered to your kindle on the 1st. And for you audiophiles, we are expecting the audiobook to be ready early next year.
Anyway, we hope you enjoy this 2 chapter sample. Just a short sneak peek as we gear up for the big day. Happy reading!
We are super-excited to announce that THE BLACK FORTRESS has just gone up for Pre-Order over at Amazon!!!
AT LAST!! Woooohoooo! You can now purchase your e-copy, and it will automatically be delivered to your Kindle on the official release date of November 1st (aka, midnight on Halloween night for those keeping score—a little something to toss in on top of your newly-harvested Halloween candy!). We are incredibly excited. We thought this day would never come, but now the long wait is almost over. Thank you for your patience. We can’t tell you how eager we are for you to sink your teeth into this 650-page, 220,000-word monster of a book.
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE.
We have other BIG news as well. And in all honesty, we’ve been a little hesitant to announce this because we’re not exactly sure how you’re gonna feel about it. We think you’ll love it, BUT… Well, here goes…
THE BLACK FORTRESS is NOT the final book in The Gryphon Chronicles series, after all. Although we had every intention of Book 6 being the grand finale, once we got three-quarters of the way along, we realized there was just too much story to fit it all into one book. So, there is going to be a Book 7, to be titled THE DRAGON LORD, that will come out in 2020. No long delays, lol. We promise! The Jake saga continues…
Soon, we will begin sharing some Sneak Peeks of the opening chapters of THE BLACK FORTRESS. Keep an eye on this blog! So excited for you to take your first look inside this twisting, turning story.
We hope you are as excited about all this as we are. Click HERE to pre-order your e-copy of THE BLACK FORTRESS. (FYI, you won’t see the pre-order button for Paperback/Hardcover yet, but those formats WILL definitely be available for you at the same time as the e-book – NOV. 1!) Thanks!