What the hell is it with all these note cards?

Not that long ago, I confided in a friend that I was stuck in my story. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t know what was supposed to happen, it was more a matter of how to order events or introduce more events to bridge the gap between two things. Her suggestion was to use note-cards like a story board. So, I went through and wrote down the basic subject of each chapter, sometimes splitting up the chapters according to action that could possibly be separated. Then, I wrote down action I wanted to add, and started sorting those note cards. It was a breakthrough for me. I could suddenly see how to organize things and plot a course to the end of this story.

Like anyone else, I’ve got piles of notes stashed in places all about the house. Three-ringed binders, stacks of papers, spiral notebooks and so on… Everywhere. Plus, I’ve got all of my digital notes. However, these didn’t help for the storyboard. I did try to map my story out, it just didn’t work on a static page. Even in a digital file, it didn’t work. I think this has a lot to do with all of the extra detail you can scribble on a note-card, including characters, setting elements, or information that needs to be revealed in that scene. Plus, if a chapter doesn’t seem to fit or work, I can just remove it from the story board and set it aside – perhaps it might belong elsewhere.

Since that helped me better understand my plot, I figured why not apply that to other stuff. Now I also have a stack of note-cards with basic details about each character and place. This way, when I’m writing about a character I can just quickly refer to the cards instead of trying to remember where in the digital notes I might have put that stuff, or sift back through earlier chapters. So, that’s what’s with the note cards, and it’s working very well, thank you.


One thought on “What the hell is it with all these note cards?

  1. Onion says:

    You need a Rolodex.


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