Continuing our discussion of ways to plot other than mindmap, we have a link to a system for plotting things out a little more visually. It’s also a little more flexible to plot use index cards. Some people feel like they’re committed to something as soon as they put it on a computer, so this would be a method of plotting that can keep things flexible. It’s easy to decide to pull a card out of your stack. And if you later decide that you did actually want that card in your pile, it’s easy to stick it back in. Based on our example with Bob, Rin, Joe and the Big Thing, we could easily set up our first few index cards (which gets you past the dreaded first card). Our concept would be the basic plot that we picked from the list. And we would just need to find a quote to go with it to create our theme (something we didn’t really do because I think of themes as something you worry about more in a second or third draft). Then you take the scenes we came up with (the death of the previous owner, Bob’s Gall Bladder of Doom date, etc). Stick each of them on their own cards. Then, anything else you think of, from Rin’s first date (and what it makes her think about her mother) to Joe’s invention success, to Evil McEvilPants’ eviction notice, all goes on the remaining index cards. And then, when you have enough index cards that writing a book is starting to sound a little less scary, then you can move on to trying to add a little shape to the index card system. And you can always reorganize everything with just a kitchen table and a little time to lay everything out so you can look at it.
30 Days of PreWriting, Day 14 Leave a comment