Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dissecting a Novel - The Index Cards

This has been a long process. I'm reaching the end of the book and thought I'd share with you samples of the index cards. I hope you are able to read my handwriting. This is just to give you a general idea of what can go on the cards.

Setting, POV, Summary, Scene Type, end thoughts.

I found the Scene Type a little hard for me. As I neared the end, I began leaving it blank all together.

These are scenes from False Memory by Dean Koontz.

Hope my steps help others toward their goals of writing a novel.


Terry W. Ervin II said...

I can see more where the process of creating the cards, actually observing and writing, may help, but in the end, how much will the actual stack(s) assist beyond that?

It appears similar to 'reverse engineering' a device. But in the end, there isn't a formula that works. If there was, it would have been discovered by now and all writers would use it.

That being said, I suspect this may direct you to a process or forumula that works for you, because in the end writing a novel is storytelling, and as such has a structure/cadence/pace (however you want to describe it) that draws attention and holds/maintains the interest of readers.

I hope this process helps you discover, or better yet, refine, what will work for you.

Anonymous said...

Terry, I agree that there is no formula.

What I hope to accomplish is a better understanding of the components and structure of a novel. Beyond this discovery, the cards will be of no use, as I'm not looking for a magical formula.

Think of it as learning to paint. With each brush stroke a new layer is created, but in the finished canvas this structure is not seen. By watching someone else create the painting, one may learn quickly how to build layers and create their own masterpiece.

Anonymous said...

Index cards ... many writers talk about it. I suppose I do a variation of it--in my head. Looking at the image, though, I do see how putting it down helps.

I might try it and see where that leads. 2010 - year of new things and possibilities.


Anonymous said...


I've heard about it for years, but this is my first try. I'm hoping for results. Some things that work for some won't always work for others.

2010 - the year to get published.

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