Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Storyboard Your Novel

Hello Friends!

I've been meaning to write this post for some time. I originally tried to write my latest novel, Crimson Earth, on the fly. I wanted the process to be filled with as much discovery as I had endured--uh, I mean, enjoyed--when I first wrote Violet Storm. Unfortunately, the anxiety of a looming deadline (a seriously ambitious deadline) stunted my ability to be as fully creative as I had been in the past. The fun factor didn't exist now that it felt more like work rather than a pastime. I did everything I could to get out of the creative rut. One idea that made the whole experience and process fun again, was Storyboarding.

How does creating a storyboard help? 

If creating a storyboard is too much like outlining for you (and that's not what you're interested in), then try creating a mood board (this is simply art, objects, scene-cards that you want to display). 

  1. Visual: I'm a very visual learner. If you're like me, storyboarding will help you see the landscapes, environments, and cultural nuances that you might be having a hard time visualizing clearly, which will come across in the writing. If you're struggling, it's likely your readers will struggle as well. 
  2. Pacing: Storyboarding can help you see each scene a little more clearly. What will happen and when it will happen. If there's not much happening, there won't be much to put in its place on the board, and it might mean removing altogether if that scene doesn't contribute much to the overall story. 
  3. Plotting: You can see your major plot, your subplots, and yes...your plot holes. 
  4. Immersive: Storyboarding is a great way to fully immerse yourself in the world and in your work. One glance and you're back there again, ready to dive into the adventure. 
  5. Creative: Writing is a great creative outlet for me, but sometimes I need to stretch that fun-factor a little more. Creating a mood board or a storyboard is a great way to do that. I try to plug in prints/photos that help inspire the unique aspects of the culture, the people, the architecture. 
You can create so much depth to your work with the help of a storyboard (or mood board). You can spend as much or as little time on this, but regardless, I highly recommend trying it out!

Happy creating, 
Anna

Here is a sample of my story-board. I tack and untack the note-cards when I sit down to write my scenes (chapters). Next time, I plan on using multi-colored notecards to denote the beginning, middle, and end of the story.


BTW - Violet Storm, Book One of the Modi Series is on sale for $0.99 cents for the month of December! 

21 comments:

  1. Our inspiration boards are super similar! =) I pulled up a pic of mine, b/c I thought they were exact, but there's just a tiny difference in the frame molding, lol! I love finding pics to go on mine. As soon as I finish revising and start on my next ms, I get to do a new one. Yay! And I have a feeling I'm gonna need all the inspiration I can get for this next idea...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I remember your inspiration board! I've tried creating it on Scrivener, which is pretty cool too, but I love just being able to look up and see it in person. And I can't wait to hear about your next idea!! So exciting. :)

      Delete
  2. What a great idea. I've got to get me one of those.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandra, it's so worth it! And if it doesn't work out, you can still use it for the office - posting up mails, family pictures, etc. That's actually what I had originally bought it for, then my fiancé told me to create a mood board and it was all I had. Now I'm sort of obsessed. Haha. I just love crafting, I guess.

      Delete
  3. Since I love outlining, I'm sure that sort of thing would work for me. But...I don't really have room for such a thing.

    I did hear of a program that does the storyboarding and lets it live in your computer. Of course, right now I can't remember what it was. (What I do is let it all live in my head. Not the safest place to be, really.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. I know what you meant. And I really enjoy outlining too! This was a great way to visually map it out. I think the program you mentioned might be Scrivener? Though, there might be another one, which I can't remember at the moment.

      Delete
  4. I am also a visual learner, Anna! Great ideas here! I am not a writer but I still appreciate this post. Thank you so much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome Linda! Thanks for stopping by. :)

      Delete
  5. Interesting. Though not an author as someone who reviews books I find myself with post-it notes everywhere, not something practical for someone such as yourself who writes books. I couldn't however help but smile at the thought of authors the world over disappearing under a mountain of post-its.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. I definitely enjoy post-its because of all the fun designs and colors. If I can't find the colors of the notecards I want, I will probably use post-its, just have to be sure to pin them on the board since they easily fall off.

      Delete
  6. I so need to try this. If I get lucky enough to write more in my current series, I'm going to need it! And I love how you said that this still affords you the creativity that goes along with your first book--that's vital for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yesss! I definitely recommend! It can inspire all sorts of ideas. :) Can't wait to hear more about your current series (unless you mean the Sary Series, then I'm excited for the next book - LOL).

      Delete
  7. There's a way to do this in Scrivener, but I'll be darned if I can figure it out. I know just the few things I do in that software! I need to take a class...or just take the time to watch YouTube videos on it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that's right!! Scrivener is literally a Godsend. Haha. I have a version of this corkboard on my scriv file. Except I realize just how much bigger my scriv file was getting - making it hard to save iterations/different version without it eating up so much space on my hard drive. (I know, that sounds obsessive doesn't it? I'm just so afraid of losing my work LOL.) Oh technology...

      Delete
  8. Hi, Anna:)
    The multi colored cards to denote beginning, middle and end is a great idea...as is the story board.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Never tried storyboarding, but it looks as if it could be useful!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hope you're having a great Sunday, Anna:)

    ReplyDelete
  11. If I ever create a new office space, I'd like a board like this. I use spreadsheets, but I'd like something off my computer to use for ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Anna!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yay! You RITE!!
    ...yet, first, I gotta warn you
    to getta offa d'whorizontal, Vinny,
    just like Jimmy Hoffa.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yay! You RITE!!
    ...yet, first, I gotta warn you
    to getta offa d'whorizontal, Vinny,
    just like Jimmy Hoffa.

    ReplyDelete

I love comments! Shoot me a message below!

ShareThis