Day of the Divided Draft | Scene Cards

Hi everyone,

This week has brought quite a bit of progress through my in-depth edits of my current WIP: Divided Draft. At the moment, I’m grappling with issues in pacing and plot progression. A lot of it has been cleaned up, but since dividing it, I need to make sure that this new 1st book is coherent outside of the larger arc. So far, so good 🙂

As I’m going through my chapters and scenes, I’ve been taking notes on index cards. It’s been a brilliant asset to me so far, helping me to keep track of where I’ve been to know where I should be going.

This is what I’ve been making notes of:

  1. Description – basically an overview of major occurrences in the scene
  2. Goal/Conflict/Disaster of Scene & Reaction/Dilemma/Decision of Sequel – If you haven’t read KM Weiland’s Structuring Your Novel, I highly HIGHLY recommend it! It is an insightful read into how to structure both the major plot and your scenes. In my revisions of my WIP, I find it most helpful in  identifying scenes that need to be cut. You should also check out her website here at Helping Writers Become Authors. It is a true gem providing not only tips and advice for fiction writing but a story structure database that analyzes well known plots.
  3. Arc threads: Plot, Characters, Subplots – This way I can see if there is a progression in each of these from scene to scene. If something feels too static, I know to add a little change or scrap it altogether.

I also have character index cards and timeline cards, and cards that track my thematic build up… Honestly, when it comes to writing, they are a lifeline for keeping me organized.

Here’s a small excerpt from something I was editing this week:

Across town, Sean was ignorant to any ill-intentioned thoughts towards him.
He stood sentry by his stall in the crowded market space and observed the people wandering by. It was an amused fascination that kept his gaze on those meandering from display to display, seeking that one trinket they would willingly lay their currency on, that one trinket that could bring them joy—fleeting and superficial though it might be.
Their lives were dull, these people who made their existence on dry land. It satisfied him to know that he had escaped such doldrums. Every day was an adventure on the ocean, every moment one of bliss. The seas were his realm, his freedom unchecked. Yes, he alone determined the path he traversed; he was master of his own destiny. If he thought that with enough conviction, he could trick himself into believing it was true.

Here’s a question for you: how do you outline or organize your story? Do you use index cards? Or keep a notebook? Or do you use some sort of writing software?

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,


Faith quill-ink

©Faith Rivens. 2016


12 thoughts on “Day of the Divided Draft | Scene Cards

  1. Thank you for posting this. I love hearing how you are progressing and the excerpt you added was brilliant. Can’t wait to read it.
    I do not plan much. I know the beginning and the end then let the characters make their way to it. Often I am doing a mundane job and a part springs out at me on the implications it has but other than that I let the hands do all the work (on the keyboard). Thank you again for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words 🙂 I hope it can live up to it!
      I hadn’t planned anything the first time I wrote, and I think it ended up being a pretty decent draft anyway. I sometimes find that the best inspiration comes in the act of writing, when you’re really in the story 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to share!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Firstly, I hope the dividing of your draft goes smoothly. I’m so glad that you’ve seen fit to do this if you think it would be better as two books. I have read far too many novels lately that could have done with being divided.

    Secondly, I don’t plot my novels, but I do have index cards to write down everything that has happened thus far, and use them to get a clear map in my mind.

    Thirdly, I love your excerpt. Your descriptions never fail to disappoint!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It definitely was the best decision I could have made. It was a little difficult figuring out how to shape this new first novel, but I think I have a pretty good grasp on that now 🙂
      Considering how well EVO Nation turned out, you shouldn’t change what you’re doing 😉
      Thanks for your kind words! I’m glad you enjoyed it!


      1. I love hearing everyone’s processes- they vary so much from writer to writer.

        Thank you for your kind comment about EVO Nation. It’s nice to know that my process is working 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing the text! I like getting a glimpse into a developing story, and with that little bit you managed to paint a decent start to a picture of this character.

    I’m glad things are moving along for you and that you’re finding something that works. I usually outline on paper by just writing down plot point after plot point (whether broad or detailed) as I want the story to go. Last NaNo I had outlined both of the novels I wrote in Scrivener before November started. It worked fine, but I think I’m still just as happy to have a paper outline.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! I’m glad you think so.
      I think I’ll always favour paper too!
      Do you ever deviate when you’re writing or do you tend to stick to whatever outline you’ve created?
      Thanks for taking the time to reply 🙂 I appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t normally deviate all that much. The novels I’ve written lately are stories I’ve been planning for a long time, so I pretty well know what I want to happen in them. When I write, I start with a point from the outline and an idea in mind of how it will go, and don’t look back at the outline until I’m ready for the next point. If by some chance the way the scene went means I have to do other things before I can move on in the outline, then I’ll do that. If something that comes out while I write changes my plans and the outline, I don’t mind changing it, as long as I’ve decided the new way is definitely the way to go.

        I’ve often imagined a story (or parts of it) in broad strokes in my head long before I get it onto paper, even as an outline. I’ve already worked out how and why the important things will happen, and what the consequences are. So it doesn’t usually change much while I’m writing. This isn’t always how it goes, but I’ve only written a few novel-length stories, so I don’t actually have a ton of examples to cite.

        But I also don’t always have a full outline ready when I start writing. Sometimes I outline half or 2/3 of a story but don’t know what will happen next. I start writing, hoping it will reveal itself to me as I go, which doesn’t always work, but I usually have a better idea than before I started.

        Wow, that was a long response. I hope it makes sense. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It makes complete sense! Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences. I love it 🙂 Every writer’s journey is unique, their method their own. It’s a joy to discover yours!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. So happy to hear you’re making progress. I’m like you, I use notecards for everything. I like to have the main plots points, scenes, emotions, quotes, etc on them (a couple of words each). These are used in the early stages just to help me keep track of what I’m doing. I love being able to lay them out and see what I’m doing, then move around things as needed. I find it much easier than using a document. But more often than not, I deviate from the cards because ultimately it’s what the characters decide.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for taking the time to reply and share your process Mollie! I love how you use index cards as well. I think they appeal to me so much for the same reason they do to you. Easy to see everything at once and move them around. But I agree, a lot of time my story deviates despite what I’ve planned because in the moment of writing, inspiration strikes the brightest 🙂


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