Storyboard, Aug 3

This is what my storyboard for book two looked like two days ago. (The part with the green background.)

It had three cards on it when I started writing book one.  While writing book one, I occasionally slapped new cards up on books two and three when I had ideas, in the general area of the books where I thought something would happen or be important. [Book three is on top, but most of its cards are in the first part of the book so not in this pic.]  Post-its tend to fall off eventually but I did have some, and some scribbled notes and some printed.  Now I’m looking at what I have, figuring out what else I need, eliminating those ideas that probably won’t fit.

I am very disorganized. Any kind of analysis requires this kind of thought process is a real shift in gears for me.  So having these physical elements to work with–so fluid and easy to move around, remove, put back–has made all the difference in the world in my ability to visualize and control my story.

I’ve never done this detailed kind of outlining and plotting before, but for this trilogy it’s absolutely necessary.

The storyboard technique is from the aforementioned screenwriting book, Save The Cat, and I wish I’d learned it earlier.  I’d used scene cards before, but never in this way.

I have used color to represent things like “not sure about this” or “R’s pov” but when I have a plot that is getting close to solid, I will make all of this neat and print it out in proper scene cards and then use it to write from.

Also, I had a major spoiler on the board. Not that anybody ever actually reads it but me but… I have removed that spoiler and rewritten so that it is no longer spoilery. (wink)


Filed under Analog, Index Cards, Novels, Office, Organizing, Save the Cat, Screenwriting, Storyboard, Writers, Writing

8 responses to “Storyboard, Aug 3

  1. Very interesting…at one time I had a big “visual organizer” hanging on the wall (it’s still there–it says 1986) but as things closed in I quit trying to use that. Basically, if there’s a way to turn an organization tool into a mess-making tool, I will manage. Without trying.

    I think I’m just doomed to be an agent of chaos.

    • This is the only thing I’ve ever found that brought the chaos of plot into order for me. On the other hand, when I think of the worlds you’ve created, your maps… I’m astonished at the detail.

  2. You use color coordinated tags and you say you’re not organized? I can’t keep color-coordinated anything, no matter how lovely the paper or files. It must be a visual thing and I’m missing the brain connection.

    My desk area is already such a mess of sticky notes (not color coordinated), pieces of paper with scribbled notes, and files of more notes, that I finally gave up and started keeping track on Wordpad. With the big monitor, it’s very basic, keeping the note file open and the document file open, side-by-side. I can strike out notes I’ve taken care of and add new ones as needed. And keep different files if necessary.

    And then there are the document files of notes and research and characters and… Not organized, not color coordinated, but in there somewhere.

    • That’s a desperate attempt at organization. All the colors will disappear when I finally get the scene cards/plot in hand (which I’m working on today, and am making very sloooow progress). I just keep reminding myself how much better the writing experience was when I had it outlined than it is when I don’t (which has been every other book/script I’ve ever written, prior to book one in this trilogy).

      Everything has to be at my fingertips, whether it’s my research books (bookshelves behind and beside me), my digital files (all in the sidebar on the screen beside my document) or my storyboard. I have to be able to see/touch.

      I think you and I are very similar, actually. I just stumbled across the idea that index cards really work for me, and with you its wordpad. Otherwise, yes, I am surrounded by chaos!

    • After thinking about it… color is desperate attempt at organization during the weeks/months when I’m slapping ideas on a board but not writing that project. Instead of post-its on desk, scene ideas, dialogue, etc. goes on board. And somehow color feels like I’ve done something important/impressive. Once I’m really working–pulling a plot together, etc. That nonsense is cast aside and I finally deal with the real work!

  3. I’ve tried story boarding. I lasted five minutes. It must be an acquired skill. *Sighs*

  4. Pingback: Don’t break the chain! « planet pooks

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