index cards, how-to books, & characters

White is my favorite color for the index cards, but I am branching out to other colors lest they get lost in the shuffle.

I love my index cards. I’ve blogged before to show off my index cards when I was using them to work on the plot (each index card was for a specific scene). Now I am using them for my to-do lists and as a handy way to jot down notes from various editing books.

Is there any consensus?

The how-to books are really a matter of self-interpretation. They have a lot in common (don’t use phonetic spelling; show, don’t tell) but vary when talking about sex and profanity. One book points to the sex scene in Gone with the Wind as a perfect example of taste and class while another book uses that scene to describe old-fashioned writing and the fact that contemporary fiction doesn’t need to be so polite. With this in mind, I am currently using three different books and taking bits and pieces from each one.

My current editing project is character. I’ve been putting this off for a couple weeks because it is a big job. I need to draw up character sketches for each character and read through the manuscript to make sure that each character is accurately and consistently represented. Yikes!

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2 responses to “index cards, how-to books, & characters

  1. Eric (my husband) and I love your card idea and have both followed suit. Another tip for working on character, actually draw up a sketch of your character. You don’t have to be an artist to have a likeness sketched out. Then you can circle your drawing with words and phrases that highlight this ‘character sketch’ from your book, and see if you’ve done a good job of describing them physically (showing, not telling). Good luck!

  2. Pingback: what if? | Philawriter

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