Finding problems early in your story

by TheHack on June 23, 2010

I started a new story. I have recently placed a couple others on hold while I figure out what is going on with them so I jumped on another idea for a book that I have. It is geared toward the late grade school/middle school crowd.

So I decided to work through The Snowflake Method and actually follow the steps instead of just rushing into writing “One day some kids started doing something” and hoping it would all work out. I made it through steps 1-3 and was pretty happy. Happy enough to Twitter about it.

The bad character is a witch that I’ve had in mind as a bad character for a while except the idea I had for her originally was for an adult story…not a kid story. So, the bad thing she does is not appropriate for this book. I don’t really want to deal with poisoning a town especially when I would prefer for this book to be a bit on the funny/ridiculous side. But when I was working on her summary sheet for step 3, I wrote her pretty much as designed for that older age group. A couple hours later, I realized my problem. Interestingly enough, I must have had some idea of this problem because there is another part of her character summary that I wrote and then changed immediately to make it more young reader friendly.

And now I can fix it while I am just a couple hours into working on the story instead of two months from now when the whole tone of the book has been messed up from the start.

I wonder what other major problems I’ll find before I actually start writing as I work through the next steps of The Snowflake Method.

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