I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Novel Design?

I watched the flakes of our first snow fall quietly outside my bedroom window this morning and once again stood in awe of the intricate and unique design of each one. I love snow, especially the way it exemplifies our Creator and His attention to detail in His creation. Snow inspires me in my own creations, so when I heard about a “Snowflake Method” of novel design, I had to check it out.

The “Snowflake Method” is the brain child of Randy Ingermanson, award-winning novelist and frequent conference teacher/speaker. Mr. Ingermanson spent years as a software designer, and he writes his novels the same way he writes software, using something called “the snowflake metaphor.” There is no way I could describe it better or more concisely than Mr. Ingermanson himself, so I encourage you to check out his explanation at his website, AdvancedFictionWriting.com where you will also find his blog, an e-zine, and a ton of helpful articles.

After 1,500,000+ views of his website article, Mr. Ingermanson decided to write a software program to customize Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel for fiction and automate his 10-step writing process. I bought this software, and I like it, but keep in mind, it just one tool. If you are the kind of writer who thrives on organization and pre-write planning, you will also like it. If you feel stifled by organizational tools and prefer to write by the seat of your pants, you will hate it. To learn more about it and see some screen shots, check out the Snowflake Pro website.

The Snowflake Pro program is available as a download and costs $100. When you buy it, you get free upgrades for life. But here’s the cool thing: if you own or purchase Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy, you can get Snowflake Pro at a 50% discount. And here’s the coolest thing: today and tomorrow, you can get the Kindle version (the Kindle reader can be downloaded free on any pc) of Writing Fiction for Dummies for FREE! I purchased the actual book awhile back, but I took advantage of the free Kindle offer to have a copy handy on my iPod.

You must decide for yourself if spending the money for the Snowflake Pro software is worthwhile for your writing style. I can’t tell you if it will work for you, but I can, without a doubt, recommend Writing Fiction for Dummies as a worthy addition to any writer’s library. And as a free download, it is a no-brainer! You don’t want to miss this deal!

~Heidi Larson Geis

Taking time to be thankful:

November is National Adoption Month, and I am so thankful that in October of 1968, a woman in Nevada I've never met chose life and made the most difficult decision a woman can make: to put her newborn up for adoption. I am equally thankful that God put that newborn in the arms of Ken and Pam Larson, the most amazing parents a girl could ask for. We celebrate 42 years together on November 23! I am thankful for all those choosing LIFE and for all those choosing adoption.

The MBT Ponderers have put together a Thankful Basket. If you’d like to have a chance to win our basket of goodies, leave a comment during the month of November. Share a thought about a blog post or tell us what you’re thankful for!


  1. Wow, Heidi! Thanks for posting about such a great deal. I own Writing Fiction for Dummies. Ingermanson is a terrific writing teacher. Even a seat-of-the-pants writer has to ponder the story at some point, so I think Randy has created a valuable tool any writer can use.

  2. Roxanne~ Isn't it a fantastic deal?! I hope a lot of writers get the opportunity to get in on it. I love to read writing books of any kind...I think you can learn something from everyone.

  3. Absolutely beautiful, Heidi.

    I have read up on the "snowflake" method and have also purchased other software called PowerWriter. I like the program but can't seem to break away from Microsoft Word. I'm a panster as most of you already know so organized software is hard for me to change over to.

    I was completely touched by your "Thankful" story, Heidi. I too am thankful that she chose life. What would the Ponderers do without our beautiful Heidi.

  4. Heidi--love your thankful story too!
    Randy's Snowflake Method is a great tool. I won a copy of Fiction for Dummies, and like you I took advantage of the free Kindle download!

  5. I have the snowflake software and just downloaded the free Kindle version of Writing Fiction for Dummies.

    My mother was adopted, and I'm so thankful for my grandparents. When I was in high school, my mom was reunited with her natural family.

  6. Heidi, wonderful and valuable post, especially the thankful part. We're thankful for YOU and I miss you.

  7. G~ it is possible that I am addicted to writing software, so of course I will be checking into PowerWriter! I thought I was a pantster, but more and more I see that I crave the organization. And with my memory issues, I fear I will need something like Randy's Snowflake.

    And thank you for the lovely compliment. I believe my love for my Ponderers and my thankfulness for each one is beyond what I can put into words!

  8. Bethy~ I LOVE having that book on my iPod touch! It weighs almost nothing, and I can take it everywhere and read a chapter or two when I am waiting around. I also have a couple of SMW books and Sweet By and By as audio books. So handy!

    Love you!!

  9. LJ~ I have to admit it, I am madly jealous of your Mac...I want that Scribner program! I have yet to find anything like it for a pc. And now that Apple has their new super light Macbook...well, let's just say that I completely understand my son's burning desire for a PS3 when we have a perfectly good PS2 and a Wii!

    I always love to hear reunion stories, especially the ones that have happy endings. Believe it or not, I've never really had the desire to go looking, however I would embrace anyone from my biological family who came looking for me.


  10. Dee, my darling! I love and miss you too!! I will be praying for you as you embark on your fantastic adventure! I'll admit it: I'm a liitle nervous to let any of my Ponderers leave the country! Be safe! =)

  11. Heidi, I love my Mac. The display backlit burned out so we had to ship it to be repaired. I miss it so much. I feel as if a part of me is missing. Sounds dumb, I know, but that's how I feel. My life is on that computer.

    As for Scrivener, I believe they came out with a Windows version. I tried the Mac version for 30 days, but did not like it. However, I found another program that I LOVE--Write It Now. I even got Reba hooked on it. You can find info about it here:


  12. Thanks for the suggestion! As I told Ginger, I am slightly addicted to computer writing programs, so I will definitely be checking into it. I didn't see a windows version of Scrivner (I can never remember if it is spelled with a b or a v, lol) but I will look again.

    I knew about your Mac... and I do not think your feelings are odd at all! Remember how I spilled (sloshed, really) cereal milk on my HP? I still need to send it out for repair but I don't know how to be without it! So I use a cordless keyboard and mouse. I am gearing myself to send it out at the beginning of December...I figure I will be so busy with other stuff I won't miss it too much. I may need Ponderer support for the withdrawals!!

  13. Okay, so I cannot seem to get the spelling of the SCRIVENER program!! LOL,I think I may finally have it. And Lisa, you are partially right about the Windows version...it isn't out yet, but it looks as if it will be released in early 2011! Not only that, but if you reach the 50,000 word goal (validated) in NaNoWriMo, you can get a 50% discount coupon for it. Here is the link for it...


  14. And here is the link to the program Ginger has...


  15. I just downloaded the Scrivener Beta 3 for Windows as a trial. It was free, with the strong suggestion to make sure and back up anything I create in it while they continue to work out bugs before the actual launch next year. This is available for anyone who is willing to risk it, and the real version will be free for anyone who gives valuable (and kind) feedback to the company. I LOVE FREE!!!

  16. No . . . more . . . links . . .
    I can't keep up!

  17. I'm a late commenter...commentee? commentator?

    Anyway, great post, Heidi, and I went ahead and got the free download. Woohoo! Thanks a bunch for letting us all know about it. Miss you lots, Heidi!!