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Click the 'Browse/Select File' button below to select a Snopzr file (ending ".snopzr.xml") or select 'Load from Dropbox' to do just that.
Click below to connect to Dropbox to select a Snopzr file (ending ".snopzr.xml").
Your synopsis content will be formatted to taste and open in a new page. You can then copy-and-paste into your text/table editor of choice.
Save your work-in-progess locally (it will appear in your current downloads destination) or connect to save to Dropbox.
Your synopsis content will be formatted to taste and open in a new page. You can then copy-and-paste into your text/table editor of choice. (If '5 Levels' is not checked, it will not be included.)
Snopzr is a story prototyping focus tool - you start with an outline, then reduce it to three parts, and then reduce those three parts to three parts and so on, until you have a detailed breakdown - or synopsis - of that one initial idea.
Alternatively, you could go the other way, summarising a detailed narrative into smaller and smaller paragraphs, boiling it down to the essential story.
It doesn’t even have to be a story - any idea that could benefit from being broken down into component parts - Snopzr will oblige!
The idea is that the tool is simple, so that the uses are complex…
Why three parts, though?
The three-part structure of a story is a classic for good reasons. You might be thinking in Aristotlean terms - incitement-tangling-unravelling - or something more straightforward - beginning-middle-end - and you’re tapping into a basic and common story structure. Sun comes up, sun ambles across the sky, sun goes down again.
This is not to say this is the only way, though. Be wary of thinking it means three 'acts'. There are some good arguments for five-act structure in dramatic narrative than three-act structure for example (here's my favourite). And there are more circular and organic ways of thinking about story.
But the idea was to build a simple tool to prototype and test stories, not actually write things. So three it is.
Yeah, OK. But three what?
Whatever you want. A beat, an action, a sentence, whatever.
An idea though, you might want to always think about the twist between each panel. If a story beat can’t reasonably start with a ‘so’ or a ‘but’, you might possibly be treading water.
The striping between the cells is mainly there to make them clearly different, but notice in the deeper sections, it alternates between light-dark in their subdivisions. What if you tried to make all light panels something ‘positive' happening to your protagonist, and all the dark panels something fairly irksome? What would that do to your story?
It’s a bit mechanistic, though? What about my twisty, turny, time-jumping narrative?
Remember, this is a story prototyping tool, not a plot tool. You’re on your own there.
Even if a plot jumps around and is not remotely linear, there is a story underneath that probably is (and before you get all post-anything on this, and balk at my assertion that there is always a story, I refer you to the sun-going-up-and-coming-down-thing. Time flows in one direction, even if just for the audience/reader, there just is.)
You can use this any way you want. If your plot is complex, the stories of your characters individually might not be. One way I use this, for example, is to outline those characters, and force myself to answer all those questions ahead of the big drive of writing that might speed-bump me otherwise.
Ah, but could I use it to outline a plot? (And what's that '5th Level' button?)
Again, you use it how you want.
By default Snopzr starts with four levels. That’s 1 x 3 x 9 x 27, so you end up with a 27-part synopsis. Hit ‘5th Level’ however, and you will reveal the red-coloured fifth level, that will take you up to 81 beats. And if you were able to fill up each of those 81 panels with a scene heading for a scene that lasted, say, one-and-half-pages, hey presto! You have a 121.5 page screenplay!
And you don’t even have to namecheck Snopzr in your award speech…