Dear Chandelier,

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Some of us are just too close to the ground to see what the sky looks like and yet you, in your own way, have become the hanging crystal of inspiration. You stand unaffected among grand halls and ballrooms; of corporate offices and living rooms. I watch at the coming and going of guests. Some of them important, some not. They wrap themselves in fruitless conversation and rest their bottoms in chairs that hug the table beneath you. They shout with laughter and hold their noses in the air and yet they live on the ground. They have to look up to you and gasp in awe. So modest and rooted is this simple fixture in a room. I watch as your radiance pulls their mouths to the floor. Watch your occasional swing shift their eyes; watch your gracefulness stop their breaths. Softly and delicately, your crystals spark reflection like the conviction of a mirror, in which we are all forced to see ourselves. We try to move to a less luminous part of the room, but we are powerless to scorch your light. Voices rise to distract from your daintiness. The people scream and yell, come and go, but they are incapable of stealing your glory, let alone catch its shadow bouncing off the walls and chipping at the faces of guests. It is you oh Chandelier. You who remains steadfast and immovable, yet moving. Silent, and yet you sing. Fragile, and yet strong. Beautiful, and yet delicate. Modest, and yet shinning.

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The Snowflake Method For Designing A Novel

I don’t usually use an outline when writing my books but I found this really neat method I’d like to try. While I can’t say I’ll stick to it like glue, it looks like something that will help me to organize my thoughts without the confusion. For my next project I’ll be using The Snowflake Method. Click Here to check it out. After your reading, research, and daydreaming is done (when you have an idea of what the story is about), here is Step #1 from the article:

Step 1) Take an hour and write a one-sentence summary of your novel. Something like this: “A rogue physicist travels back in time to kill the apostle Paul.” (This is the summary for my first novel, Transgression.) The sentence will serve you forever as a ten-second selling tool. This is the big picture, the analog of that big starting triangle in the snowflake picture.

When you later write your book proposal, this sentence should appear very early in the proposal. It’s the hook that will sell your book to your editor, to your committee, to the sales force, to bookstore owners, and ultimately to readers. So make the best one you can!

Some hints on what makes a good sentence:

  • Shorter is better. Try for fewer than 15 words.
  • No character names, please! Better to say “a handicapped trapeze artist” than “Jane Doe”.
  • Tie together the big picture and the personal picture. Which character has the most to lose in this story? Now tell me what he or she wants to win.
  • Read the one-line blurbs on the New York Times Bestseller list to learn how to do this. Writing a one-sentence description is an art form.

Another important point: It doesn’t have to be perfect. The purpose of each step in the design process is to advance you to the next step. Keep your forward momentum! You can always come back later and fix it when you understand the story better. You will do this too, unless you’re a lot smarter than I am.

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Sounds exciting! There is also a book which you can find here. Are you writing a book? Share the method to your madness! How do you stay organized?