How it works.

Start by writing a one sentence summary of your novel, Not a sales pitch, but the essence of what happens in it. This is harder than you first think. Your instincts will be to hold back information as if you are writing a teaser for the book ...... Don't do that, focus on writing a simple sequence of events

 

An orphan boy discovers he is a wizard, goes to wizard school and and has to face his parent's killer



Next Up! Break it down.

Split that card into three parts, beginning, middle and end, You don't need a lot of detail, just try to summarise the way that part of the book will go. Once done you THROW AWAY the original card and stack these three in its place.

Harry is an orphan who lives with his horrible relatives, until the day he discovers he is a wizard and goes to wizard school.
At the school Harry makes new friends and encounters a mystery that he tries to solve, but this gets him in trouble
Harry and his friends rush to stop the villain from getting his prize. Harry wins, for now, but must return to his horrible relatives

Rinse and Repeat

Keep taking a card, splitting it and adding detail

Harry is an orphan who lives with his horrible relatives, until the day he discovers he is a wizard and goes to wizard school.
Harry lives with his horrible aunt and uncle who treat him badly, He is bullied by his cousin for being a bit strange, odd things have been occuring around him for years.
On his 13th birthday a letter arrives for him, his uncle tries to hide it from him but more and more arrive until Hagrid turns up and tells Harry about his parents being wizards and he is to go to wizard school.
Hagrid tells harry about the magical world. He then takes him to a wizards street where Harry meets more wizards and helps him get ready to start at wizard school, Harry heads off on his new adventure.

Just keep doing that

Its a great way of breaking your novel up, after a card has been split a few times you find that you're about ready to start writing the scene that the card gives you. The beauty is you only have to focus on that scene, all the planning and structure has been taken care of in the process.