My job ends one month into the New Year. Rather than put my crisp stack of business cards to use and look for its successor, I’ve found another use for them: mini index cards.
Over the years, my handwriting has shrunk to match the diminishing Japanese pen tips that I obsess over. I can’t claim the excuse I once heard from a Romanian who, as a student, developed tiny handwriting to save paper, but I can claim a super human nearsightedness so strong I can focus on the eyes of a guy as I kiss him.
I’ve newly christened my former business cards as scene cards to help outline my current novel. My nanowrimo draft served as a fun introduction to my plot and characters, including new ones I didn’t know I would have, with many (most) scenes skipped and the ones recorded mostly skippable. After dreamstorming1 a few sprawling pages of possibilities, I pick my favorites to form a deck of scene cards. Next, playing around with the arrangement, I form a scene-by-scene outline that I’ll use to get to the second draft.
Feeling like a proper madman with all these cards tacked crookedly on the last bare wall of my bedroom, I have timelines intersecting and diverging for my three main characters. Slowly, each card is filling with my scrawled tiny pen scratchings. Photo to come.
1. The scene cards I read in Robert Olen Butler’s From where you dream. Although sometimes his approach frustrates me with the reek of mumbo jumbo, overall, I appreciate his points.