Category: story structures

Dean Koontz’s Classic Story Structure

Dean Koontz’s Classic Story Structure

Let’s move in our journey of Story Structure Series writing about Dean Koontz’s Classic Story Structure.

In the previous article, we learn about Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method whereas the Dean Koontz’s method is simpler.

It equally takes its cue from the base of the story, elaborated however differently, through three main steps.

What is the Dean Koontz’s Classic Story Structure?

Dean Koontz is an American writer, known for novels that can be roughly described as suspense thrillers. Frequently in the story, he incorporates elements of horror, science fiction, mystery and satire.

The three steps of Dean Koontz’s Classic Story Structure

This method is composed of three different parts. It is simple and can be applied to every kind of narration.

  1. Write about your characters, their attitude and get the reader to get attached to this character. After that, make the characters encounter some difficulties as soon as possible. Only in this way will the reader begin to take an interest in the events of the characters and to fear for their lives.
  2. Don’t make life easy for your character but, on the contrary, try to complicate it with other difficulties and plot twists. In some cases, you may feel that your characters’ actions make the situation and events worse. The situation seems almost hopeless to the reader.
  3. It is important to show how much your character has learned during the narration. In the end, it’s nice to show that he can pull himself out of any difficulty precisely because of the lessons he’s learned.

Goals of Dean Koontz method

In addition to these steps, Dean Koontz identified the goals to keep in mind for every novel.

Firstly, you have to think that the aim of your story is to immediately grip the reader. Secondly, you have to introduce the main character that you will put in trouble in the next step.

It is important to let the reader know right away that the narrative will be full of twists and turns, suspense, timed by events at a very high pace.

Finally, create a strong sense of reality. Do not fantasize too much, otherwise, the reader may risk losing interest because the events are too absurd and distant from reality.

“Some people think only intellect counts: knowing how to solve problems, knowing how to get by, knowing how to identify an advantage and seize it. But the functions of intellect are insufficient without courage, love, friendship, compassion, and empathy.”

Dean Koontz

An innovative novel planning software to create your story

As just seen, you have to be very careful about what elements to consider when writing the story. It is good to properly dose the narrative techniques, elements and also to know how to give the right prominence to the characters in the novel.

For this, bibisco can be of help to you. Thanks to its innovative novel planning software, you can balance all the right elements and create characters that will be loved by your readers.

Dean Koontz’s Classic Story Structure - bibisco's characters' section - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
bibisco’s characters’ section


The second method we wrote inthis Story Structure Series is Dean Koontz’s Classic Story Structure, a simpler technique to learn how to structure a novel.

This is composed of three easy steps which you can apply to every kind of narration. Don’t lose other articles of this Story Structure Series!

Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method

Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method

To structure a novel is not a simple thing. Besides the narration, you have to choose different elements. For instance, which narrative techniques to use, how to create dialogues and others.

In this first part of our Story Structure Series, you can learn how to structure a novel with Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method.

Everything starts with a basic story structure in which you defined a beginning, a middle and an end. But there are also different story structures you can consider structuring your novel which we will see in next articles of this Story Structure Series.

Let’s start with Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method.

What is the Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method?

Are you curious about how to structure a novel with Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method?

Randy Ingermanson is a theoretical physicist, and he is also an award-winning author of six novels. He invented “The Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method” composed of 10 steps.

The aim of his method is to start from a central idea. Then, develop your narration around this starting point, by adding different concepts, techniques and details.

The 10 steps of the Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method

In other words, imagine that these 10 different steps are like little snowflakes. Through them, you can create your very final result as a big ball of snow, your narration. Every step has approximately a duration, that you can use just for reference like a guideline.

  1. Start by writing a single sentence in which you summarize your novel. (The duration of this step is about 1 hour)
  2. Furthermore, expand the sentence you create in the step above. Then, create a complete summary and giving more details about the most important events (this took 1 hour)
  3. Concentrate on each character. Write a page in which you resume the behaviour, characteristics, attitude and other details about your characters. (It took about 1 hour for each one)
  4. Each sentence you wrote has to be expanded into a paragraph summary, as you have done in point #2. (Several hours)
  5. After that, put yourself in the shoes of your character. Write about one page about the story, from the eyes of them (1-2 days)
  6. As you have done in point #4, detail each paragraph you create. After that, create a full-page synopsis (this is the longest part of the Method: it took about a week)
  7. This is the moment to create a character chart to give more details. Write a full description of your character (about 1 week)
  8. Take advantage of point #6 and make a list of every scene you need to complete your narration
  9. For each scene, write a whole paragraph with a complete description
  10. Now is the time to write your draft, which you can revise at the end

“You need three major resources to have a successful writing career: time, writing space, and money.”

Randy Ingermanson

The innovative novel planning software of bibisco to create a novel

To sum up, if you are searching for one method to create your novel and avoiding losing details, you can get inspiration from this Story Structure Series. Likewise, you can test the novel planning software of bibisco.

This is a very useful tool that you can use to list the main points and characters of your novel and to put your ideas into words.

Take a look at the example below where you can define Premise, Fabula, Setting and Narrative strands of your novel.

Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method- bibisco's characters' section - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
bibisco’s architecture of the novel section


Every writer has a method to write the novel. This is the Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method.

In conclusion, in this Story Structure Series, we keep analyzing some of these methods from which you can start to create your narration, full of details, of interesting dialogues, which will take your reader’s breath away.