Wait! What I meant was, I may never write by the seat of my pants again. I think I'm turning into a Plotter...
It all started a couple months ago, when I was working on the synopsis for Strength. I needed to outline each chapter's plot points for a quick reference and decided to use index cards. That's when my obsessive, overly-organized side took over.
Needless to say, the whole project snowballed. I ended up including characters and places, too--and you know what? Those obnoxiously bright cards convinced me to formally outline my next MS! (On paper, that is, since it's all subject to change.) But I digress.
Troy asked about my index card method back in February, when I posted a photo of my cards on Twitter. My reply was crammed into 140 characters and didn't give much information, so I decided to expand it into a post. I know it's not an original concept, but doing this helped me. Maybe it will help someone else. :)
Quick Reference Index Cards:
- Buy colorful index cards. C'mon, they're stimulating. You can even color-code, if you want.
- If you're planning on writing these out by hand, skip to step #5.
- Bring up your word processor of choice. I use MS Word. (I can hear you hissing, Peggy!)
- Create a new document and change the page/card size to 3'' x 5'' (or whatever size index cards you bought).
- Make the first one a title card.
- The second will be a legend. Whatever you plan on abbreviating should be listed here. Remember, there's limited space. (Yes, the second card is legend... wait for it...)
- If you're like me, you'll want to use the fronts and backs of the remaining cards.
- On the front of each card, list the chapter, act (if applicable), significant plot points, and any designated hooks.
- On the back of each card, list the chapter, act (if applicable), characters, places, and any additional notes.
That's it! If you're unsure how to format these bad boys, you can download two .docx examples here. I hope they help you as much as they've helped me! :)
Do any of you keep quick reference cards/sheets? If not, how do you keep track of things?
Have a great week, guys! ♥
P.S. I can only imagine the search terms I'm going to see in my analytics from that anti-pants title...
P.P.S. My blogiversary is in May. I think I'll wait and do an artsy giveaway then. :)