[identity profile] jediknightmuse.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] jedimusescribbles
This is a method that I came up with a few years ago after someone told me about their method for using plot cards. I modified it a bit and figured I'd repost the directions for anyone who wanted to try it. The example I used is from the story I was writing at the time when I wrote the directions.

Materials
-The huge, white index cards that are 5" x 8"

-Permanent markers. Doesn't matter what colors, that's your choice. They should probably be on the thin side.

-I would suggest using pens and/or pencils for the notes on the lined side.

-Your imagination. :D

Directions
1. What I do first is take maybe 10 of the index cards and write "chapter -insert-number-here- on the unlined side of them in marker.

2. Then, I look at any of the ideas I've already written down, and take some more index cards and choose which ones of those ideas would be best for "major plot points." For example, in chapter six of Caelestis I have a card with:

Return to the Sky City on the unlined side

and then on the back of that I have stuff about what happens that's related to that scene/plot point. There's a capture, battle...stuff like that.

This is, of course, if I already know what's going to happen in those beginning chapters, which was the case when I started doing the plot cards for Caelestis.

3. I continue writing more plot points on the unlined side of the index cards for each chapter, and writing notes for those scenes/plot points on the back of them.

4. As I create cards, I lay them out in the order I think they're going to be in, and maybe put the chapter title cards in one row, and then have the plot point cards under them in a second row. As you add more plot point cards (since you're probably going to have more than one or two cards for each chapter, depending on how much you have planned for each one), you put them under the row for, say, chapter one going downwards.

5. If you reach a chapter that you don't know what's going to happen yet, you simply just make the chapter title card and leave it for later.

As you spread them out in order, you can look at them and move them around, or add more cards to whatever chapters might need them.

I would suggest not putting the chapter's actual title on the card until you know for certain what that chapter's title is.

-Use the pen for writing your notes on the back.
-Use the pencil for writing what order the cards in. For example, if you have five plot point cards for chapter six, you could write:

Chapter six, card one
Chapter six, card two
Chapter six, card three

etc, so that if by some chance you get them mixed up, you'll know what order to write them in. Then, once you know for sure what order they're going to be in, you can erase the "chapter six, card one" from off of the card.

As you go to write a chapter, I would suggest only having one chapter's set of plot cards in front of you, so that you know what you want to happen.

Questions? Still a little confused? Feel free to ask and I will gladly elaborate on anything that might be confusing.
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The Scribbles of Jedi Knight Muse

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