Pick a card, any card… (03/11)

Did you like yesterday’s ramble about a place that Google Maps can’t help you with? (A half-lie. The Port of Amble exists in the UK, apparently…whoops.) That’s right – I made that place up.

Today I thought I would shed a more factual light on my planning process. Whilst I am currently spending my leisure time weaving a dark tale of mystery and unnatural occurrences, during business hours I play the role of a Producer in a software development team, where we employ the agile development process. What does this mean regarding my writing? For the most part, nothing – but it does bring up the topic of cards.

Agile methodology breaks down what the project has to build into cards we call ‘epics’, a broad-sweeping collection of related features. As the project gets to working on an epic, this card is replaced with a collection of new cards, each representing a discrete feature or detail. This results in a lot of cards.

I approach my writing in a very similar way – the big ideas are written up on cards, and as I flesh them out they gather a family of closely related cards. This process often spawns other cards, as I realise a particular character or event is now required, and so the extended family grows. It’s like story-boarding, only for a book.

Port Amble currently has quite a family of cards. Whilst looking like the result of merging a desk calendar with the contents of a copy of Cluedo, the characters, the history and the key locations in Port Amble are taking form. I now know not only what a particular scary animal is, but also why it is so scary. And the answer? That lies on the back of one more card, a card that just happened to have fallen at the right place at the right time…

The cards are giving me structure, and inspiration all at the same time. Go cards, go!

End of Day Word Count: 2,400. (and about fifty well thought out cards…)

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~ by nick on November 3, 2013.

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