October 5, 2011

Writing Tip: #2 Index Cards

Todays writing tip is one of my favorites.... using index cards. I have found this so helpful because I am a very visual kind of person. I have to see what I'm up against and where I need to go. That being said here is my Wednesday writing tip.....

First off grab yourself a stack of index cards and at the top of  the first one label it "Chapter 1" in pencil. On the next write "Chapter 2" and so forth until you have 25 index cards labeled. You can make more or less cards depending on how many chapters you think you will need to finish your book. I like to use 25 because it give me some flexibility.

22 left to go.... :)

Now take that tacky blue stuff you can put on your wall and hang all of the note cards on the wall in chronological order. Next get a stack of sticky notes and write down one of your main ideas on one sticky note. Do the same for the rest of your main ideas and then stick them on the chapter you think the idea will best fit.

I only did 1-10 so you  could see....

Now that you have it all laid out you can see where you need to add a few things.... chapter 2 & 3 might need a little thinking through or what not. You can also move the sticky notes around if later on you think it needs to go somewhere else.

This helps me see how much I still need to get done or how much I have already accomplished. Once I have completed a chapter I take off the sticky note and write on the index card with pencil the main points that happened in that chapter. You can always go back through and add a chapter here or there or take out chapters and this way it's super easy to see what you have going on.

Have you tried doing something like this? If so do share... :)


  1. Do you use Scrivener to write? I tried and I'll NEVER use anything else. It allows you to organize your writing just like this, it's so cool. I love the index card thing too.

  2. No, I haven't tried it. I just looked it up and it looks really cool!! I'll have to try it out. Thanks :)

  3. This is so funny cuz i know exactly where those are hung up at haha

  4. This is such a good idea! I usually waste a load of them due to throwing ideas away and NEVER thought of using post it notes.

    Do you stick these on the wall or on a board? I don't think I could ever let the world see my raw ideas.

    So how many words do you have in one single chapter?

  5. I put them on my wall because I have an office at my house and I'm the only one that really goes in there. But you could totally do this on a board or maybe even in a notebook. Just tape like 2 index cards to a sheet of paper so if you want to move them around you could do it pretty easily and then you could still put the post it notes on the cards.

    How many words I have in a chapter?? I guess all depends.... most of the time I shoot for 10 pages in Microsoft Words (single spaced)....but some times its less or even more.