Tips to Organizing Your Notes

Sometimes, while writing a novel or screenplay, characters, places, and events can get confusing.  My tip for keeping everything straight is to organize your thoughts and plans on index cards.

Start with your characters by writing their names on the front of a card and then write details about that person on the back, such as, appearance, personality quirks or the vehicle that they drive.  If you need more than one card, just staple all the cards together for that particular character.  Alphabetize the characters for easy reference.

Next, jot down the places you want to use as settings for the story.  For example, write the city name on the front of the card and restaurants, street names, and reference buildings on the back side.  Also, you can make a card for characters homes by writing the style/description of the home on the front and drawing the layout on the back.

Then, begin to make cards for the events that you want to happen.  Again, staple multiple cards together if necessary.  The events don’t have to be in order; you can figure that out later.  Once you have figured out the order of events, you may want to number the cards and place them in numerical order at that point.

You may not use all of your initial ideas, and that’s okay, but at least you’ll have something to reference to while writing.  I like to put check marks on the event cards once I have written them into the story.  I use X’s for the events that I have determined just don’t work as originally planned.

Finally, keep all of your cards in an index card box so that they don’t get lost or damaged.  You may want to utilize color dividers to separate the different areas of reference cards.  Happy organizing!

This post is contributed as Guest post by Heidi Wildes Mitchell