Writing a novel with index cards

As I go through my cards I try to remember to ask myself these questions: Then you can go back and forth between separate threads, picking up the next appropriate scene from each. Maybe the most ideal way to hold ideas is a marriage of index cards and a journal that is divided into categories: He calls it an interior struggle made exterior by focusing on an antagonist not necessarily a human enemy who attacks the protagonist's emotional problem.

The same goes for any tertiary plots: She also has acted as a book doctor for established authors. I laid out the cards for the main plot, then I tried to figure out where the subplots would fit in with it. There should be a sense of acceleration as the story continues The obstacles should get more intense and the conflicts should escalate Characters: Here are some of writing a novel with index cards things my notes suggested: These ideas come to us so vividly, so precisely, and oh so cleverly that we are tempted to believe they cannot be forgotten, but that is fairy dust, my dear writing friend.

Make sure each section transitions smoothly from the previous section and into the next section, without weird jumps. Every scene must serve a specific purpose. Some are going to be longer--much longer--and some much shorter. If you have already started a novel, you can now use the index cards to write down major plot points.

My index-card life is not efficient or well organized. Mara becomes laughingstock when she takes a bed slave because her beloved dead mother was opposed to sexual slavery. Figure out what order the scenes make sense in. Cherryh and Connie Willis can make it look so easy. As I arranged, I paid attention to the following: If you do this, be sure to number the index cards once you have them in order.

Look at the design overall. If you enjoy embedding patterns or symbolism in your writing, this is also a good way to include them.

You need a second plot line too, something to complicate the first one: I have a long history with index cards. Some will float into your head like goldfish, lovely, bright orange, and weightless, and you follow them like a child looking at an aquarium that was thought to be without fish.

And the villain is… hmmmm. The white cards represent actual scenes with scene notes. At the end there is a resolution. Every scene must make the next scene inevitable. Plotting a novel with index cards can help you form a stronger plot for your novel as well as keep your ideas organized.

A scene can usually be written as three things: Do you follow a process when you write? Learned this the hard way. Use emoticon stickers for the way the reader should feel during and after the scene.

Create Structure in Your Fiction Using Index Cards

This is also the only time you get to have a completely coincidental out-of-left-field thing happen. Tristan's best friend Kellen must become Cadaran's bed slave and faces the true indignities of the harem which Mara spares Tristan from.

She is shocked at his injuries yet attracted by his unfamiliar maleness. After these chapters, I type out a plot summary from the compiled note cards. Cadaran, Kellen's attempts at escape -- major subplot. Keep repeating 4 and 5 until the story runs like an well-oiled mechanical avalanche down a mountain.

This is when the character starts to overcome his flaw while dealing with a horrific event. For my money, I say it is. I have some practical questions for you: When When does the action in this scene take place?

Do you employ this technique, or something similar, when creating a structure for your novel or story?Writing a novel can be an intimidating task. Keeping your ideas, characters, and plot moving forward successfully is not an easy feat, and many writers end up o.

Continue work on your novel, using the index cards as a general structure. You may find your plot changing as you write, but using the index cards as guidelines may help you avoid writer's block and give you an idea of what the novel will be before it's completed.

How to Outline a Novel: 60 Index Cards Method Posted on September 6, by Margaret Dilloway I used to be very against outlining books– novels– because I thought they had to be PURE and free-flowing and not sticking to any formula.

Break Out the Index Cards. This next bit is pure fun. Get out a pack of index cards, write the name of each character on the correct number of cards, and if you’d like, on a few extras — I’ll make eighteen for Elsie and Mike, ten or eleven for Frisco and Annabelle.

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Create Structure in Your Fiction Using Index Cards

Subscribe: Using Index Cards to Plot a Novel. by Marilynn Byerly. I start out with a general premise or one image or scene as the embryo for my novels.

Index Cards: A Low-Tech Writer's Tool That Makes Book Planning Much Easier

If you aren’t a big planner, you can still make use of index cards to examine a novel using the reverse outline process.

This simply refers to outlining a piece of writing after the fact. Once each scene is written, you can scribble notes about it on an index card and consider the above points.

Writing a novel with index cards
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