Only as the final few rectangles of card fell to the kitchen table did something magnificent occur to me this week. Something which tickled my organisation glands and caressed my nostalgia nodes. Oh yes. Ladies and gentlemen, I have a new process.
You see, recently I have been drawn back to the plot cards I invented a few weeks ago. To recap, the plot cards are small cards describing story events – however major or minor – which I feel need to go into the plot. I place the cards into chronological order so I can work out which sequence of events makes the most sense and where every plot point goes – or doesn’t go.
Anyway, I had come up with some extra little events to add to this collection, so I went ahead and started looting the crafts drawer (I live with a nine-year-old) for some card and scissors.
However, here I faced a harrowing organisation crossroads. You may recall that I used pink card the first time around. What I didn’t mention, not least because it has utterly no relevance and can be of interest to nobody but me, is that when I cut out my second set of cards, I cut them on a different shade of pink card by accident.
When I took to the kitchen for my third encardment, therefore, I had a choice. I could either use one of the previous colours, accepting that one of the sets would be the odd one out, or just go for different colours and be done with it. I picked the latter option and out came the yellow card.
What I did not immediately realise, however, was the latent novelty of having been, uh… forced to do this. As I accumulate more and more card sets, I can see which parts of the plot I started with and when and how I have added to this original model. I can actually look back and see the evolution of my idea. Check it out!
The dark pink set came first, the light pink set, second, and the yellow, third. The first set is all towards the end and beginning, which shows how little clue I had about those middling chapters. It’s really satisfying to see how much I’ve incorporated into that section since then. Feeling good about it.
So, why is it nostalgic? Well, in the good old days, the process of defragging one’s computer was a colourful affair. Not just for a 90s child obsessed with charts and colour-coding, but literally. There used to be a bar with hundreds of coloured lines in it. These represented shards of computer files scattered in different locations on the computer. As the computer reunited the pieces of each file, the strands would reunite into big blocks of the same colour. Whenever I see my pack of coloured cards in profile, I think of that.
Or a really, really fruity bar code.