Themes and index cards (major lesson ahead)

Heeey ya'll!

Nah, I'm not cool enough to pull that off. It's currently 22.17 (or 10.17 PM depending on where you are), and I just ate some chocolate and that's basically everthing I've done today. I woke up around 16.30, which is super late but also not that unusual. We ate when mom came home and then our small family just drove around, catched some Pokémons, won a raid and snuggled up some doggos. Bought candy and here I am.

Today I'm gonna talk a little bit about something that helps a lot if you're not that super fixed on your story our how it will develope. This is a technique that a lot of writers use and myself included, altough I always lose the freaking cards.
Index cards.

Okay, assuming that you've already come up with your theme and to some extent plot and subplot, this is the stage that you've reached. Now it's all about timeline and it's where I am now.
So what you wanna do is take 60 index cards (depending on how long you want your story to be, but let's start with 60). These all represent different scenes in your story. Take them, and then write any scene you can come up with that you want in you story, you don't have to fill out all the cards right away.

Done? Okay! Now you're going to take the cards and spread them out on your table or floor. Look at them, read them. Maybe draw a line somewhere or just put them on the floor in the "shape" of a line. Here's where the fun begins. (Just kidding, everybody knows that the timeline configuration is one of the worst parts after editing because this is where your real work starts).
You are going to arrange the cards/scenes in the order you want them to appear in your book. Right now is where I understand that I'm completely lacking a massive amount of scenes to bind my story together, unfortunately, but I'm working on it.
If you're in my situation; now is the time to start to think about the scenes in between your scenes. You know what you want, you just don't know how to get there. Did you character Carlotta stand in the kitchen making a sandwhich and then suddenly teleport to her job? Nope. Did Ian sit in the library banging his fist on the table because he couldn't find anything about a lucky charm in the books, and then suddenly appear in the woods in front of a six-armed monster - with the lucky charm in his hand? Also no. There needs to be something in between, not only to fill out the story, but also to help the reader get to know your character, the plot and actually understand what, why and how things are happening. But keep in mind that you shouldn't just throw in a sceen for the hell of it; Josh didn't walk out to throw away the garbage, fall over a rock and then walk back inside. Josh walked out, muttering angrily to himself and completely missed the rock that was right in front of him. He fell and landed on the garbage bag, it exploded due to impact and garbage flew everywhere! And there it was; right infront of him was the tickets to the strip show that he was looking for. 
This way, something happens that can be seen as comic relief in a situation where Josh is angry about losing his tickets, and not only is it funny, but it actually drives the story forward because Josh finds the tickets.
Of course you can write some scenes just for fun or to pass the time, but it's important to keep your story going forward because no matter what you're writing about - your character started at one point, but it has to get to another, and that's where you (you creative genius), comes in.

Also, muy important, you need to have a theme before starting this. Your theme, your statement and your feelings are A and O in this story.

You can have as many themes as you want, those are currently just guide lines. Let's say if a book store decides to start selling your book; what section are the books placed in? Not only is this something that's good to know for the reader, but it also helps you know what kind of story you're sticking to.

Courage, sacrifice, friendship, love, supernatural, horror, man's relationship to God/nature/aliens/technology, trust, family, revenge, power, this list can be endless!

My themes right now are courage, man's relationship to God and religion, supernatural, trust and, of course, a lot of horror. These are my guidelines and what I'm trying to stick to, and if that changes along the way then so be it, but for now that's where my focus lies.

Now, knowing your theme, you should try and read as much as possible in that genre and books with those themes. See how others write about them and try to see if there's any common things that happen in those books or in the way that they're written, and also try to stick with that because things that a lot of books have in common in certain genres is ofter something that can be considered to be one of the things that makes that genre work. This does, however, not mean that you shouldn't completely try and slay your genre and create a new masterpiece. Use both old and new techniques and see what you're comfortable with!

On that note I think we should talk about your statement. Assuming you write a book, what would it say on the backside? Try to summarize it to a sentence or a shorter text to let you know where you want your story to lead, but also what it's really about.

"The book is about Amanda, who, in her fight to survive a breakup that almost destroyed her, finds a tourist guide filled with notes, and decides to go on the journey of her life!" 

In writing, at least for me, it's important to know where you're going in order to know how you're getting there.

This will also be posted under This week in Writing, so if you lose it you can easily find it there.

Gnight ya'll ❤️

Picture from Pexels.com

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