Organizing Your Plot Structure

The great idea finally came to you. This is going to be the one that lands you on the bestseller list.

So now what do you do?

Many of novels never make it to completion because of one giant roadblock: organization.

Several methods are available to help every writer break through those barriers, though. To find the method that works best for you, experiment with the following plot structure organizational tools.

Index Cards
Many writers love the flexibility of index cards. If you don’t like where you’ve placed a certain scene, simply move it. This also allows you to free up your plot structure without being so confined.

Quick Tip on Index Cards
When using index cards to organize your story, it’s best to write in pencil. As your story changes, you can simply erase certain elements of your scene without having to start a new card.

If you’re like most writers, you have a sense of specific scenes you’d like to include in your novel or short story. Writing a synopsis of each scene on its own index card and then arranging them – or re-arranging the cards – is very beneficial for a constantly changing plot structure.

For instance, a sample card might read:

Scene: Taylor finds the missing gun

Description: He’s rummaging through his sister’s closet for her high school yearbook. He finds the gun that killed their father. She walks in.

Outcome: He confronts her, she goes ballistic. Somebody takes a bullet.

Status: Partially Written

You can identify as much as you want on your index cards. Or as little.

By writing the outcome of the scene on your card, you can easily lead your story to the next important scene…and index card.