The first Randy Ingermanson’s book I read was How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method. After I finished it, I immediately started to read Writing Fiction for Dummies which gave me even more insights about the famous Snowflake Method which Randy has developed and presented in these two books.
Once I have read these two books, I thought there is no way that he is going to come with something better; these books were the real eyeopener for me. All of a sudden fiction, writing and story structure seemed so simple and logical. I wrote the one-sentence summary, one paragraph summary, short synopsis, long synopsis but I skipped the scene creation because I thought that I already know how to write a dramatic and emotional scene but I was wrong; it turned out that I couldn’t and that I need to be engaged in additional learning and researching.
I tried many books, some of them have offered certain insights and some of them haven’t offered much and then
Randy has made another great technique
Just when I was getting really frustrated with my second novel, when I decided to start from scratch one more time, I realized that Randy has released his new book on fiction writing How to Write a Dynamite Scene Using the Snowflake Method (Advanced Fiction Writing) (Volume 2)
In his new book, Randy has coined yet another word in story structure terminology – the crucible.
A Crucible is the reason Character can’t have what she wants. The Crucible is partly the story world and partly the cast of the other characters and partly what’s inside your Character.
Basically, the crucible is the other word for conflict, but it has a deeper meaning. The crucible represents everything that works against the protagonist and if you picture the protagonist being thrown into a crucible full of liquid metal, you know that he needs to go out or he will die there. The interesting part is when the protagonist gets from one crucible, you can throw him into another and the fun continues.
There are two types of crucibles, one that spreads throughout the entire story and many small ones which every scene should contain. If there isn’t a crucible, the scene doesn’t work; simple as that.
What I really needed to see in this book is the in-depth analysis of reactive scenes. Randy beautifully analyses scenes from three different novels (The Godfather, The Hunger Games, and Outlander).
If you are like me, and you cannot create a proper dilemma for your reactive scene you should definitely read Randy’s new book on fiction writing.
Apart from this, Randy covers in-depth analysis of Reactive scenes, he talks about goals, conflicts, and setbacks, like in his previous books, but in more details and with more examples
To kill or not to Kill
Also, there is a chapter on editing where he talks about a very interesting triage method for fixing broken scenes and he compares writer’s dilemma of ‘to kill or not to kill the scene’ with army medic dilemma of ‘to help or not to help the wounded soldier’.
If the soldier won’t survive without help or if he won’t die without help, the medic doesn’t act upon him, but if the medic isn’t sure, the soldier gets medic’s attention; the same thing a writer should do with the broken scenes.
For the end, will show you my my favorite quote from that chapter:
A lot of work, no? Of course it’s a lot of work. Editing is hard work. Professional writers edit their work, and they edit hard. Be a professional.
If you want to find out more, get your copy of How to Write a Dynamite Scene Using the Snowflake Method (Advanced Fiction Writing) (Volume 2) and dig into it.