WritingTipIn response to reader’s emails, I’m adding writing tips to the content provided on my site. This week, I’d like to share with you how to use index cards with your writing.

Writing Tip: Using Index Cards With Your Writing

Imagine you are writing a fiction story. It can be a book, screenplay, short story. Each significant event that happens in your story gets its own index card.

A few examples of key events:

A character gets in a car accident.

A character meets the love of her life.

A character discovers someone is being unfaithful.

Don’t worry about which event happens first in your book or screenplay. The goal of writing down an event per index card is simply to create beats of your story.

For example, you can write down the car accident index card before the index card which shows your couple getting into the car. The point of index cards is to just write down ONE KEY EVENT per card so that you can later organize your thoughts.

Side note: Sometimes when I’m writing a story, I feel as if I have a million thoughts floating in my head. When I write my story thoughts down on index cards, it frees up space in my mind.

It doesn’t matter what size index card you use. It doesn’t matter if you write in pen or pencil. The goal is: Get down your key events on an index card.

Now, after you have written down all of your key events, organize them in chronological order. What is supposed to happen first? What happens last?  Are any key events missing? If they are, you need to write a new index card.

The next step is to number the cards. Nothing is worse than organizing your story and then a big ole’ wind comes and blows your whole story all over the floor. So, write little numbers on your cards and now you have an event by event outline for your book or screenplay!

I hope this tip is helpful. Email me if you have any other writing tip questions, I enjoy sharing this kind of information. I can be reached at Yshiraz AT Yasminshiraz dot net.




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