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Scene Cards

September 11, 2008

A scene card is an index card used to represent every scene of your story. This technique is commonly used by screenwriters, but can be adaptable to any form of writing.

ProKidWriter from Children’s Book Writer used this technique to develop stories for picture books. The entry goes into great detail about how you can do it from how many cords you need to what to write on each.

I recently sent my seventh assignment to my instructor for the writing course I’m taking. This assignment required a summary of a story to be finished for the final lesson. The course material suggested using scene cards. Below is the guideline I used for my outline:

  • Setting: Where does your story take place?
  • Characters: Who are your main and secondary characters? Who is your viewpoint character? Are you writing in first or third person?
  • Development: Briefly describe what will happen in each scene.
  • Opening Scene: Describe beginning in a few sentences.
  • Middle Scenes: Describe body of story in a few sentences.
  • Climactic Scene: Describe the peak of the escalating conflict in a few sentences.
  • End Scene: Describe the resolution of the conflict and how your story ends in a few sentences.
  • Theme: What is the underlying idea of the story?

You may use this outline for your project(s) or develop your own. Make sure you keep the cards organized (number them if you have to). Then, write your story!

Do you use scene cards? If not, would you consider trying this method? What do you like and/or dislike about it?

2 Comments
  1. brightmyer permalink
    September 11, 2008 7:18 am

    Great post! I use this same technique when writing my stories and it’s very helpful!

  2. Darya permalink
    October 8, 2008 12:47 pm

    I like the above outline as a way of writing a synopsis of a story or book. I was looking for a description of how to write a scene card and thought this idea used scene cards, but I wasn’t sure it is the outline of the scene card itself.

    Thanks for sharing,however, because I learned from what you wrote.

    Darya-Washington state

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