Sometimes it’s not the tools, it’s you. More often, it is the tools. But then just once in a while, it’s not neither you nor them, it’s when you first tried them. Writer Ken Armstrong used to be firmly against the use of index cards for planning out your scripts but last week found a new approach.
Rather than doing what everyone says you should and actually planning out what the script will be, how the script will go, he wrote the script first and then wrote index cards. One card per scene. He says:
As I wrote them and laid them out on the floor it was almost as if the play stepped a little further out of the script pages and closer to some kind of reality. That sounds strange, I know, but it’s true. The script itself is a rather bulky tome and the only corporeal form it has is a stack of pages or, worse again, a series of digital imprints on a computer screen. On the floor, the little cards, so loose and so tenuously askew, look like they might dance and sing a little. They look like someday they might actually turn into something real.
So there’s another rare writing tip from me. If index cards work for you at the outline stage, well done. If you hate them, like I did, try them once more right at the end.
Read the full piece.