BDN Archive – How I Use Index Cards to Outline, Pt 2

This was originally posted by me at (no longer available) on October 17, 2011. 

How I Use Index Cards to Outline, Pt 1

My Massive Outline for ‘Stars for the Dead’

What do I like about the index card outline?

I can move things around and play with them.

This outline is pretty much complete.  It’s also about 10 ft long.  If I didn’t have some cards side-by-side, it wouldn’t fit in my apartment.

The part that you didn’t see, though, was me laying them all out in chronological order, and playing with things until everything was paced just right.

This works so well for me because I am a visual learner.  I can see how it will help a kinetic learner as well, though, because it’s also hands-on.  Being able to spread it out where I can see everything is very handy!

So, if other methods of outlining have frustrated you, give the index cards a try.  You can use lined or unlined, and whatever size you want.  I just used what I had on hand.  The versatility of it is awesome – you can outline each scene, or just major plot points.  You can move them around.  You can take them out completely without losing them.  Need I go on?

It’s really so easy to try, especially if nothing else has worked for you.

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About Rebekah

Rebekah Loper writes character-driven epic fantasy featuring resilient women in trying and impossible circumstances who just want to save themselves but usually end up saving the world, often while falling in love.
She lives in Tulsa, OK with her husband, dog, two formerly feral cats, a small flock of feathered dragons (...chickens. They're chickens), and an extensive tea collection. When she's not writing, she battles the Oklahoma elements in an effort to create a productive, permaculture urban homestead.