The Snowflake Method – Step 2

Update: Treadmill 101. I’ve continued treadmilling, thanks to the excellent playlist I’ve assembled. I couldn’t have done it without that playlist. And another reason I’ve succeeded at my (approximately) fiftieth attempt at an exercise program: I have more discretionary time, now that I no longer have a day job. Setting the alarm early in order to slog through it before getting ready for work is an exercise in procrastination and a means to formulate spectacularly creative excuses in one’s own mind as to WHY it would be insane/unwise/dangerous to hit that treadmill.

A friend sent me a Pandora station created from the twelve songs I listed and I learned two things from it:

  1. Start Me Up by the Rolling Stones is great, and would be an excellent addition to my workout playlist, and, in fact, what better way to begin the whole 40 minutes than with this song? It lends itself well to the warm up portion because it is not too fast, yet very uplifting. And who doesn’t love Mick Jagger anyway? (Picture his rugged, craggy, unbotoxed and unsurgically altered face now.)
  2. The quality of songs one gets from Pandora when you put in “She’s Not There” by the Zombies is abysmal. I never heard so much awful, tuneless, lyricless, clueless music by goofy English groups in my life. Talk about caterwaul. Garage bands who should have stayed there, or been demoted to the basement. There was a lot of really bad stuff written and performed in those days, just listen to the Oldies TV Music Channel if you don’t believe it.

Start Me Up is now the #1 song on the playlist, and Proud Mary, by CCR, moves to #11, replacing Making Some Noise by Tom Petty, which is out. Sorry Tom, but I said it was the weakest link and it is. And I love Proud Mary and it lends itself to a cool down, the same way it did for the warm up.

Onto the real blog stuff which is, Step 2 of the Snowflake Method.

Snowflake Step 2: Expands the one sentence summary into a one paragraph summary, with five sentences, and follows the Three Act structure.

Act 1 is the first quarter of the book, Act 2 is the middle half of the book, and Act 3 is the final quarter. The “three disaster” formula is suggested, with one disaster at the end of Act 1, another in the middle of Act 2 and the final at the end of Act 2. Act 3 is the wrap-up, the conclusion.

I thought the idea of “disasters” was odd, and I believed it too formulaic. But when I went back through Whatever Happened to Lily? I noticed something interesting.

At a little past one quarter of the book, Lily stops writing to Jay. Disaster 1.

At the halfway mark, Jay learns of Nan’s pregnancy and nearly blows it, by his callous remarks to her when she informs him. I thought that was a disaster because if Nan hadn’t been willing to forgive him, the story could have had a much different outcome. Disaster 2.

At the three-quarter mark, Lily comes back into his life. Disaster 3.

Unconsciously, I must have been following this pattern.

  • Act 1 is Jay’s early life, the good days with Lily.
  • Act 2 is his life without her, his quest to find her, his acceptance that she doesn’t want to be found, and his new life with Nan and their daughter.
  • Act 3 is the renewed relationship with Lily and the resolution.

The five sentences of the paragraph should summarize:

  • The backdrop, the setup of the story.
  • Through Act 1 to the first disaster.
  • Halfway through Act 2 to the second disaster.
  • Through Act 2 to the third disaster.
  • Wrap-up. The end of the story

I wrote my summary paragraph. But I can’t decide if I should post it here because if I do everyone will know what the book is about, and then they won’t have to read it. It will be like the Reader’s Digest Condensed version only more so, since it’s only one paragraph. The Twitter version of a novel.

I like this methodology so far. I believe it’s going to work for me.

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