Organize Your Thoughts
Most writers are compulsive note takers. They can be found making notes on the bus, at coffee shops, in the parking lot, at the gym, at school assemblies, and more.
What method do you use?
There are a few computer programs for writers. You can make basic notes in Word as you would on a notepad. There are programs such as Scrivner that can help you become very organized on your electronic devices. You can plan characters, settings, plot points and so much more.
Pen and Paper
Some people prefer to write their initial notes and thoughts with pen and paper. You can use a notebook, scraps of paper, or index cards.
Some people even draw pictures and maps to help them organize their thoughts.
There are writers who love to dictate their thoughts. These days, you can speak right into your phone for this purpose. Since most people carry their phones everywhere, this is very convenient.
You may wish to record your thoughts, play them back later, and create notes from the recordings.
For a bit less work, you may wish to use the voice-to-text feature for your notes so that you can see them later.
What Do Your Notes Contain if You Use Index Cards?
Describe your characters. Use at least one card for each character. Write down full name, physical description, age, hobbies, and anything else you need to create a powerful story. Keep adding to the cards as your characters evolve. You may never use half the information on your card in the final story. The more you know your characters, the more realistic they will seem.
Use one card per setting. This can be a bar, a library, a bedroom, or anywhere else your characters go. You can even write down which chapter this place appears so you can refer back with ease.
You can use a different card or page for each chapter synopsis. You can write your chapter synopsis before or after you write the chapter.
You can outline your book on one card or several cards.
You may wish to make notes about important plot points.
Organizing some of your basic thoughts will help you write more quickly and accurately. Being able to refer quickly to characters and places when you’re working on a novel will help with continuity.
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