I am interested in using the Snowflake Method to outline a novel. There is software available to assist with this (Snowflake Pro). I am having difficulty understanding step three. In step three, the writer does a one-page summary sheet for each main character that reviews that character’s major goals, conflict, motivation and epiphany and summarises the story from the point of view of that character. This exercise can be helpful for the writer who struggles with fleshing out characters.

On the Snowflake Pro page, there are two sections labeled "Seeing the Big Picture" and "Understanding Your Characters". In the first section (step 2), Scarlett O'Hara is the main character, and also appears as a character in the second section (step 3). Yet, the one sentence and one paragraph summaries are different. Why is that? Is it because the first section is about the whole novel plot, and the second section is just about Scarlett's character arc, based upon her ambition, story goal, conflict, and epiphany?

Also, why isn't there a place to include Scarlett's values in the section three screen? The book "How To Write A Novel Using The Snowflake Method" talks about listing some values before stating a character's ambition. However, there is not a field for values in the step three screen in Snowflake Pro. Where should I put the values, if necessary?

  • 3
    If you don't understand the tutorials to the software you have paid to use, you should ask the manufacturer for help.
    – user5645
    Oct 7, 2016 at 6:52
  • 5
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it asks for an explanation of a software tutorial that the vendor is responsible to answer.
    – user5645
    Oct 7, 2016 at 6:53
  • Dear "what", my question is less about the use of the software than the process of employing the Snowflake Method to outline an actual novel. I could implement the outline using a word processor as opposed to the Snowflake Pro Software and the question would be the same. I just happened to word the question this way as a "first approximation".
    – user9885
    Oct 10, 2016 at 23:08
  • 1
    Do you see yourself getting any answers? I'm just trying to explain to you what from the perspective of this community might prevent users from wanting to help you. If you don't want that advice, I'll stop commenting from now on.
    – user5645
    Oct 12, 2016 at 16:31
  • 1
    You should not clarify your question in comments but by editing the question.
    – Carsten S
    Mar 1, 2017 at 11:43

1 Answer 1


I don't know anything about any software, so this will focus on the Snowflake Method part of the question.

This site is my favorite description of the Snowflake Method. Here's what it says on step three:

For each of your major characters, take an hour and write a one-page summary sheet that tells:

  • The character’s name

  • A one-sentence summary of the character’s storyline

  • The character’s motivation (what does he/she want abstractly?)

  • The character’s goal (what does he/she want concretely?)

  • The character’s conflict (what prevents him/her from reaching this goal?)

  • The character’s epiphany (what will he/she learn, how will he/she change?

  • A one-paragraph summary of the character’s storyline

  • A one-sentence summary of the character’s storyline

As it says on the site, this is just a rough draft; later, as you write, you can easily change any and all of these things.

This stage helps you a lot while writing your novel, and doesn't take long. By now you should have a general idea of what you'll be writing!

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