I had planned to write a glorious post on the joys of writing or perhaps the infinite wisdom behind trilogies, but alas, today you get index cards. This is in part because, aside from a writing instrument of some kind, index cards are probably my most useful and necessary writing tool, and also in part because my mind is otherwise distracted at the moment with the loud cries of the South Park cast from a nearby television, and my illness weakened state. Which is really just another way of saying, my brain is mush, I’m sick and my fiance likes South Park.
So, index cards are suddenly vastly important. While it entirely possible that this is only so because of my child like attention span at the moment, but upon closer inspection of my writing work space, I think that it may in fact be a true statement. Index cards are important.
Inspirational quotes from my favorite authors are inscribed upon them and tacked to my bulletin board.
Their silken carcasses lay scattered across my desk and notebooks reminding me of character details, books to add to my good read to do lists, and actual lists of plot points, groceries, tidbits I’ve seen somewhere and need to look up or log for further investigation. And it doesn’t stop there.
Inside my notebooks both personal and project specific, note card of details, or questions to ask of my characters or scenes are taped within the pages so as not to be lost or forgotten, as well as to document future plans. For instance, most of my blog posts have their own numbered and titled cards taped in the pages of my personal notebooks, where upon I detailed the major points I wished to hit on any topic I was preparing to discuss. And if I missed an idea or there simply wasn’t room for it, as my posts tend to be on the longish side, then that segment was highlighted for future use.
Basically, for me at least, index cards are my equivalent of post- it notes. While I do in fact use both, index cards seem to have so many more advantages. For one I can write on both sides and while they don’t stick to things, they do have quite a bit more surface area for writing or listing off important things. What’s more, they can be very ugly and messy, or they can be quirky and a nice tool for brainstorming.
Even better than all that, you can use them for creating a really colorful line for scene plot guide for revising your work!
Or just your average line for scene index while working on the first draft of a project when things like scene order and whose narrating what scene are still up for debate.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, I love index cards. Although let’s be honest, what writer doesn’t have a somewhat strange love of office supplies?!
Have you got any quirky uses for index cards that I should know about? Please feel free to comment below.