An Idea For The Pantser In Your Life This Christmas

by James L. Rubart, @jameslrubart

An Idea For The Pantser In Your Life This Christmas

As you might know, I voice the audio versions of my novels. In 2017, I expanded and started voicing other people’s books. One of them was Randy Ingermanson’s, How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method.

It was a blast doing it, because Randy created a story within the teaching, so I had a chance to do a bunch of character voices, along with getting a wakeup call: This die-hard pantser, needs the Snowflake Method.

I told Randy I’d never write another novel without using his method. He smiled as if he knew something I didn’t. Two weeks ago I found out what it was.

I said, “I’m going nuts, Randy. I can’t get this Snowflake Method to work for me!”

Randy said, “Here’s the read secret to using the Snowflake Method effectively. Use the parts that work for you. Throw the rest away. If none of it works for you, throw it all away.”

Light bulb moment. Spotlight moment! What I realized is while the Snowflake Method won’t work for me in the exact way it’s laid out in the book, many parts had already been working for me as I brainstormed my current story.

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Randy’s book made me think about issues I’d never considered before. Forced me to answer questions I’d never worried about till the end of my first draft. Gave me the perfect amount of structure within my pantser perspective.

And it’s working. I’m right in the middle of my latest manuscript, and once Randy freed me from having to do it precisely as the Snowflake Method is laid out, I started making serious progress.

As with anything, we have to mix and match. Ultimately we have to create our own, highly personalized way to craft our stories. If you’ve always leaned toward the pantsing spectrum, I encourage you to gleam some wisdom from How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method.

Yes, I’m telling to get Randy’s book. No, I don’t get any kind of kickback from recommending it. Yes, I want your and my stories to get better. I believe this is one way to do it.

(And if you like my narration, thank you. If you don’t, I think maybe Randy got in there and overdubbed the entire book.)

The Long Journey to Jake Palmer

What if there was a place where everything wrong in your life could be fixed?

Corporate trainer Jake Palmer coaches people to see deeper into themselves—yet he barely knows himself anymore. Recently divorced and weary of the business life, Jake reluctantly agrees to a lake-house vacation with friends, hoping to escape for ten days.

When he arrives, Jake hears the legend of Willow Lake—about a lost corridor that leads to a place where one’s deepest longings will be fulfilled.

Jake scoffs at the idea, but can’t shake a sliver of hope that the corridor is real. And when he meets a man who mutters cryptic speculations about the corridor, Jake is determined to find the path, find himself, and fix his crumbling life.

But the journey will become more treacherous with each step Jake takes.

James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man’s body. He thinks he’s still young enough to water ski like a madman and dirt bike with his two grown sons, and loves to send readers on journeys they’ll remember months after they finish one of his stories. He’s the best-selling, Christy BOOK of the YEAR, INSPY, CAROL and RT Book Reviews award winning author of eight novels as well as a professional speaker, co-host of the Novel Marketing podcast, and co-founder of the Rubart Writing Academy. During the day he runs his branding and marketing company which helps businesses, authors, and publishers make more coin of the realm. He lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at