The traditional back to school methods are always helpful for writers. (I also believe in our Constitution – Don’t Tread on my Rights, Yo). Act I is pink, Act II, part one, is light blue, Act II, part two is yellow, and Act III is baby green. Outlining your novel with index cards is a lot of work, but it also makes a lot of sense. If you’re writing a book – fiction or non-fiction, try this. Index Cards Not only are index cards a classic school supply – they’re also an excellent aid for novelists. However, he now knew exactly where the novel … Whether that’s blogging, journaling, writing short stories, or writing anything, really, and then I can get back to my novel with fresh eyes. Color codes are for a better understanding of an outline. I can be snark-a-licious, but only when provoked or when confronted with ignorant, ill-informed knuckleheads. Plot Your Novel With Index Cards. The benefit of using index cards is that you can look at the overall structure and see if all the actions and characters are working the way you want … Multi-purpose: while this particular post is about outlining scenes of your novel with the cards, you can easily use them for anything else you need to work out. You gotta figure out which method fits best for you. Write the name of the viewpoint character on one side of each of their notecards. Step 6: Move Forward. I’ve been married to the same wonderful, patient, thoughtful and generous man (Kevin) for 30 years. Have questions? Count out index cards, one per scene, and divide them into character piles. I squeeze in family time and blogging in between all of that. Outlining your novel with index cards is a lot of work, but it also makes a lot of sense. When I watched Sarra’s video, a light bulb went off over my head. What is the index card novel outlining method? This step is to check if you have created any plotholes by mistake. (Okay, I really spend the majority of my “down” time watching YouTube videos or searching prompts and writing short stories to post). Like, I have my own method. I also have explained this method with a free outline template that you can modify as per your novel. I get bored. My novel is … Now, first, write the chapter names (tentative) on blue cards. Outlining a novel before starting the actual novel is the best way to avoid plotholes. After that, make cards for each event in the chapter. Then comes the subplots and events under each chapter, stick those notes under the chapter note. The Reverse Outline. If you are going to introduce any love scene in the chapter, use the color code. This single idea allowed him to successfully create a novel outline. A detailed process is written below. You will find tons of different ideas to outline your novel on the internet. I personally do not follow a single traditional method to outline my novel. Pantsers do not consider plotting the novel, which answers the third question. Here’s one way to use Index Cards to create your outline…. Green for positive events: Success, conflict resolution, friendships or happy events like protagonist delivered a baby or something like that. Either way, you will have a clear picture of the flow of the novel. And side note: breaking up Act II into two parts makes a lot of sense to me, as well. I like having several irons in the fire, it’s what I’m used to and I thrive on multi-tasking. *ahem*. With the index cards, it’s easy to find out errors. The method is for outlining novel subplots or scenes using index cards. For the starter pack, you are gonna need, different colors of cards or sticky notes. I graduated from college with a B.S in Technical Writing – so I’m a wordy know-it-all, as well as a minor in creative writing – so don’t always believe what I write. Like, But many authors prefer expressing characters, time, places and scenes in the novel outline itself. Many authors prefer writing 18 to 20 pages on novel outlining using more than 2 methods. I believe in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Writing Well. Organize Your Novel with Excel–This is a good way to look at a chapter or novel to see how your point of view, plot and other elements balance in a visual lay-out. Or another option is to use different colors of markers to indicate the scenes. All I can do is stay about 24-hours ahead of the “old” stuff. Take that notecard an… But I recommend using markers, cards, and a board to arrange the cards. A scene doesn’t work where you think it should? Are all of my index cards filled out? (Pst – you can find me on the NaNoWriMo website under the username: take2max!). You can do another way around, like making cards for primary events and then adding chapter cards at last. God is NOT responsible for bad things happening. Index cards to the rescue. But for plotters or people who for sure know they are going to miss a scene or subplot in the novel, should consider outlining a novel. They allow us to map out our novel one card at a time, then sequence them in the order that makes the most sense. When you put these note cards on your cork board, you’ll see how the story flows. It doesn’t give me an exact view of my story, but it definitely gives me enough to start writing. Pressing “enter” or “return” on your keyboard while typing within an index card will save the synopsis you’ve written. Because I’m not going to pretend I won’t get stuck. He said he couldn't teach us the poetry of writing, … Have you decided on your card colors yet? Anyway, I’m excited about this “puzzle” approach to outlining and I’m very thankful to Sarra Cannon for sharing her knowledge with us. It’s up to you what colors you want to use for which activity. You’ve just created the outline for your novel. That’s probably a blank spot in the novel which you gotta find out, and eventually, you will. I don’t really create the entire outline, I kind of go with the flow while adding some notes under chapter title. How to write a novel outline: With Detail outlining template, Your email address will not be published. In a screenplay, this structure is pretty strictly followed given that films need to be a certain length, but there’s more room to play in a novel. 5 Reasons to choose a pen name for authors. But laying the cards out and then writing in my beginning scenes and my ending scenes, at least, my ending as it plays in my head now, that could, and likely will, change as I get closer to the end, and then sticking scenes that pop into my head into the puzzle as they come to me, REALLY helped me. The reverse outline works sort of in a backward method. Podcast: If the Government Said They Would Give You $1500 to Get the COVID Vaccine â WouldÂ You. However, for novel writers, cards are an even more powerful tool. Nope. A novel outline template is almost like the framework of a novel. Plotters write descriptive information of each event in the novel into their outline. 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 … How to Outline a Novel (With Worksheet + Template) 14 Remarkable Comments. For example, killing a character or revealing a secret. This is the first time I’ve approached NaNoWriMo feeling comfortable with my “plan.” Which is what, you ask? Let me tell you a really tragic story then – a tale of passionate quest and heartbreaking despair! ... "Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters … Pink for love interests: Proposals, crush on someone, romantic scene, first kiss or love confessions. I hope this was as helpful to you as it was to me. Formatting an ebook: Microsoft Word Video Tutorial. I don’t necessarily break the rules, but I definitely bend the rules. Because you might forget to make cards for some events in the previous steps or maybe you want to add more subplots. The name pretty much tells everything about the method. Imagine you’re a rock climber looking up at a tall cliff, for instance. Not even close. I’ve been blogging (on and off, mostly off) for…. Don’t let the naysayers fool you: a story outline is the closest thing to a “get out of jail free” card in the long game of novel-writing. Get a big table or a board on which you are going to stick the cards. For example, you can also use a pile of cards to write down character sheets and info, setting ideas and names of places, random bits of dialogue that … Because he would then be able to spread these out on the floor, shuffle the order around, remove some and add new events into the mix. You will find tons of different ideas to outline your novel on the internet. With the help of index cards and documented outline, your novel planning will be perfectly organized. Blue color for chapters. sherry_soule says: March 5, 2015 at 2:45 pm This method, according to me, could take a bit longer time. Not only will it help you establish your novel’s story, it can also motivate you to start writing and get those creative juices flowing. I will. You can also physically move the note cards around to change where scene land. Here are a few specific ways you might choose to outline your novel: Use index cards to briefly describe each scene in your story. Well, a novel outline is good for those people who prefer planning a novel beforehand in the detailed documentation. For example, the Protagonist’s entry, his/her motives, a fight scene, a sudden twist in a plot, subplots and any other detail you wanna add. Take a character stack, blank side up, and start writing one sentence descriptions of scenes you want to write involving that character, one per card. Using index cards to outline your novel is a great first step. That’s pretty much how I approach life, I bend rules. That’s certainly a better description than what I typically ascribe to it. This is the underlying idea for your story. I am a medical assistant and when you juggle 40+ patients a week, scheduling them for testing, appointments, preparing a short synapsis of why they are coming in and comorbidities for my doctor and mid-level, answering phone calls and returning phone calls, addressing messages from my co-workers about patients, covering for other medical assistants when they’re out and all the miscellaneous work, I’m never caught up. I’m used to never finishing something completely as my day job is never ending and I’m NEVER caught up, it’s just the nature of the beast, so to speak. Your email address will not be published. But then last year, at the Hawaii Writer's Conference, I attended bestselling author William Bernhardt's outlining seminar. Required fields are marked *, © Break Out the Index Cards. (I’ve lost track, quite honestly). How To Make a Step Outline: Scene Cards. First write out a full outline in a document. Many writers ask questions like ‘how long an outline should be?’, ‘what is the best way to get the best outline ready?’, or ‘Is it important to have an outline?’. To create a line break while typing within an index card, hold the “alt” or “option” key then press “enter.” Adding & Rearranging Index Cards. Even though you are more comfortable with your laptop or PC, sometimes pen and paper notes are more helpful. And my plan when I get stuck is to move on to another writing project. Without a novel outline before, I took a lot of months before I finish my novel versus to 30 days of my recent 2 novels this year. I like to flit from project-to-project. 1) Write, on separate cards, the scenes you know are going to be in your story. Read more about my experiences as a medical assistant here. When I get an idea for a novel, I spend many hours imagining it and jotting down ideas. Organized writing for writers: 10 ways and tips. This document’s length can vary from 1-page to a comprehensive visual mind map that includes diagrams to show the connections between ideas and information. Enjoy! In other words, you can use index cards to outline a novel and then write more details in your word document. When I watched Sarra’s video, a light bulb went off over my head. But many authors prefer expressing characters, time, places and scenes in the novel outline itself. You can either just full out free write your novel then go back in and break it down into scenes, or you can start with how you want to end with your story and work backwards. You can even do this digitally with note card applications (like the Cardboard Novels … See more ideas about writing a … Now you can proceed with the first draft. Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat! I will add and change scenes as I write because I don’t like to outline fully, I like my characters to “speak” to me as I write, but I think using this method of outlining will REALLY help me as I go through the process and will likely help me not get AS stuck. This next bit is pure fun. Whether you choose to use paper index cards, Scrivener’s corkboard, or another medium, scene cards are a staple of the writing process. Once upon a time, there was somebody who wanted to write a novel. Place each idea or scene on its own index card. I’m a mom to two young men – Blake (28) and Brandon (25). Now its time to fill the cards up. I work full time in a healthcare clinic – it’s my “day” job. I went out and bought a pack of index cards with four colors. how many years…? Act I is pink, Act II, part one, is light blue, Act II, part two is yellow, and Act III is baby green. Step 4: Convert the index card flow into a detailed document outline, Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window). A detailed outline can be of any number of pages. How guys, per your request, I recorded an outlining video using the Save the Cat Writes a Novel method. You have to decide different colors for characters, plot twists, subplots and whatever suits you. When using index cards for outlining, some writers get detailed with their cards, making one for each scene. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Either way, keep those spare cards safe, just in case. *wink*. Plotting your novel. Here's the video I mention in the video. 14 Comments; So you like stories, hm..? It meant a bit of work to reshuffle and rewrite chapters. Now you can proceed with the first draft. How to proceed with an Index card novel outlining. If you think you want to add some more scenes in the chapter, reflect those changes in the index card outline as well as a documented outline. proposes using index cards to get a handle on what he sees as a movie’s 40 major beats (10 each in acts 1, 2A, 2B, and 3), while other screenwriters simply use them to keep track of the … Their chief allure: interchangeability. These days I use (virtual) index cards to create a detailed outline of my novel before I put pen to paper to create a first draft. Get yourself a stack of index cards. As I heard someone describe the middle of your novel once – it’s the creamy, gooey filling of a delicious Ã©clair. Similarly, for plot twists and wars. Feel free to use different colors for different themes or parts of the book. Your pacing is uneven throughout the novel outline. Jun 5, 2013 - 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. Craft your premise. Once you’ve placed all the plot cards you can on the timeline, take a step back and admire your hard work. Follow me on Parler, you know, in case Twitter kicks me off for having an opinion. A sneak peek of my step outline … Write a one-line synopsis of each specific scene that you think should be in your story, one scene per card. I hope you will find something helpful out of this method. The Writer's Corkboard is a FREE virtual cork board that allows authors and writers to storyboard their novel using a virtual cork board and index cards on their computer. It is a document that includes important information about the novel’s structure, characters, plot, and more. When I watched Sarra’s video, a light bulb went off over my head. I personally write chapter names first. It is a great writing tool for organizing chapters, scenes, acts, etc. So I’m used to juggling several things at once and I think that’s why I get bored with one project. "Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Writing Well". I understand my writing self more now. My name is Karen and welcome! If you use the handy-dandy index card system to write your novel outline. Remember, color codes are important. This 1-page outline will save us a lot of time and will make every novelist save time from thinking this and that during the writing phase, which is another tedious process (taking so much of our time). I also have explained this method with a free outline template that you can modify as per your novel. However, if I come up with something new, I write it down in the notes. Second, put the main points of your outline onto note cards in order. But for plotters or people who for sure know they are going to miss a scene or subplot in the novel, should consider outlining a novel. When you’re done, you should have around 40 cards (i.e 40 scenes), 10 in each row, give or take a card. Yellow cards for subplots in a novel. In this blog, I am gonna talk about the Index card outlining method. 2021 Author Rucha Pantoji, on Outlining a novel using Index Cards: With example. 1. Time invested in a story outline is foresight gained for your novel. In such cases, you gotta rearrange the cards based on the flow of the story. However, there still are some points worth considering on this method. I hope you did. Why not? You gotta figure out which method fits best for you. I have made this example of an index card outline on my PC just to show you guys how to make it. Mom to two young men – Blake ( 28 ) and Brandon ( 25 ) information the. Of their notecards way, you can find me on the board a character or a... Pc, sometimes pen and paper notes are more helpful this step is use..., mostly off ) for… upon a time, places and scenes the! 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