On Writing : Questions on progression for novel by Gabriel Perez

Gabriel Perez

Questions on progression for novel

I started writing my very first novel, but am trying to use someones advice to use cue cards for organizing moments. My questions is how to make the best use of cue cards when using them to describe a moment?

Izzibella Beau

Gabriel, I've never used cue cards for organization. I've written ten novels and just sat down and wrote how I saw it portrayed in my mind. Then, of course, you go back for rewrites and move things around. Maybe a cue card in your instance could be used to write out just the basics of the moment. From there, you can always expand to make the completed scene. Hope this helps a bit.

Jeff Lyons

Some lucky people are like Izzibella, they can just sit down and let it flow and it works. But, most writers can't do that—not because they're bad writers—they just don't have the "sit down and write and let it flow" gene. What I tell all the novelists I work with is to first get their basic premise figured out (story structure), then write a short synopsis (3-6 pp) where they put their basic idea into a narrative flow (tell the story) and identify the major milestones (beginning, middle, end), then expand that to a 15 or 20 pp synopsis which really gets into the chapter-by-chapter story beats... and do all this BEFORE they start writing actual manuscript pages. Index cards and a cork board are great for the long synopsis piece or even after you write the long synopsis for organziing your scenes by chapter. Love that tool and it's cheap or free to do if you have some old index cards laying around. There are lots of sites on the Internet that talk about how to use index cards (not sure if you mean this vs. cue cards... not sure what a cue card is). Re the synopsis... the long sysnopsis is always important to do, because agents and publishers often ask for this as a deliverable before they read the novel. you will almost always have to have a long synopsis ready to give an agent or editor at a publishing house. I work with New York Times bestselling authors and they all have to do this for their agents... I'm just sayin. :)

Gabriel Perez

I have beginning done, working on middle, and end done, still working on some story structure. Cue cards are the same as index, but you pp idea is something also new. I will do some research on it and see if it works for me. Thanks for the tip Jeff and also thank you for the last part I did not know what I had to show to publishers.

Melissa Fidler

A good way to use the cards is to write out the scenes you want in them. That way you can put them on a wall or onto your computer and play around with where you want events to occur

Izzibella Beau

@Jeff Lyons, I'm jealous of people who have that ability to organize with index cards, cork board, and plot structures. I look at those, and my mind goes blank, but give me a blank screen, and I can have a completed novel in 30 days. The long synopsis is a must for everyone; this is the only way to get the whole premise of the story to those who are publishing and to those who are going to read. My suggestion for those writing would be to write however makes you comfortable, whether you use index cards or not. As long as the story flows, and of course makes sense, then keep writing and making it happen.

Colin Guest

Hi Melissa, Thanks for the info, it could be just what I've been looking for.

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