Hi, all - As I'm thick in the plotting stage of a new book (in the past have written organically without pre-plotting), and I've decided that for now the only way to keep track of ideas as they come, and figure out how they fit in the overall scheme of things, is to use index cards.
I am using white 5 x 8" ones that give me enough room on each one to note ideas, themes, even lines of narrative or dialogue as they occur, and also allow me to highlight, color-code, and whatever all else helps to keep track of everything, but gives me the mobility to move them around as the overall story develops. (I also carry a handful with me to work/on errands so I can capture any new ideas as they come to me).
(I am using them in the conjunction with the nine-block plotting outline (http://www.verlakay.com/boards/index.php?topic=14846.msg140046#msg140046
If there are any committed index card plotters out there, I'd love to hear any of your tricks for using them, recording ideas, keeping track of characters, themes, plotlines,etc.
This all feels very artificial to me in some ways. But oddly enough since I started transferring some of the ideas from my coomputer file to the cards, the story seems to have taken off with more energy than before.