If you’re one of those writers who is able to sit down and type merrily away, hot on your character’s heels, without ever giving a thought to plot, God bless you and you can stop reading now. I don’t possess that writerly trait, so I must give plot its due–and I am not alone. Randy Ingermanson, self-proclaimed physicist, writer, and computer geek is the author of the good-fiction-doesn’t-just-happen,-it-is-designed quote. Ingermanson has drawn inspiration from nature and adopted the design pattern of the snowflake as a model for developing the intricate structure of a novel, and it has served him well. Using the snowflake process, Ingermanson has managed to write a number of award-winning novels that have earned him quite a reputation. To his credit, Ingermanson freely shares the architectural structure used in the design of his novels and his “10 steps of design.” So the next time you’re sitting at the computer and feeling like a bump on a stump, why not take a cue from nature and design your way into the heart of your novel.