March Prep month continues!
If you haven’t read my checklist for March NaNo Prep, you can here.
Today, we are going to be talking about storyboarding. This is a broad topic, and I find myself continually trying new ways to storyboard my novels, so it won’t be, by any standard, an exhaustive look.
In the spirit of March prep, I will be sharing snippets of the storyboard I have been working on for Camp NaNoWriMo.
I’m a visual learner, so my storyboard works best when there’s bright colours and nicely organized boxes. The purpose of my storyboard is to be a visual reminder of my story, its characters, and its key themes during the writing process. For me the storyboard is the finalized plan for my novel.
I do all my novel planning as scribbles on scrap papers and in notebooks. But the storyboard is my finalized project for my novel planning process.
What kinds of things can go on a storyboard? Well, anything really, but there are a few categories to which I typically go.
I like to have a spot where I can list the main or important characters and a short description of who they are and what they look like. This way I have a reference list in case I forget a name or specific character description.
I have box on my current storyboard that tells me what my goal is and what has to happen each day to make that happen.
Plot and Triangle
A majority of my storyboard will be dedicating to outlining the plot of the story in bullet form so I can reference the board and see what needs to happen to reach the next big plot point. The triangle part of the storyboard will be the story’s plot in really broad strokes as an overview.
I like to create an elevator pitch for each book that I write. Partially so that I know what the story is in one sentence and partly because people ask about what I’m writing and I’ve got to have that sentence or risk going off on a 45 minute description.
Sometimes I know what I want to call a novel right from the beginning, but in this case, I have no idea. I’ve been calling the idea the Black Sun for as long as I can remember, but as far as titles go, I have nothing. This box is a place for me to try out some titles and gather inspiration while I’m writing.
In most of the stuff I write, everything is made up, so I create a list of all the places the characters go so I know where everything is and how far away it is from the places around it. In this novel there are lots of place names because of how the characters island hop from place to place. I need a list of the placed the characters visited and what they did there so I can keep everything consistent.
This is a new category that I am trying for this novel. I normally write, find the themes I wrote, and then in the editing process go through and strengthen or emphasize those themes. For this project, I have list of themes/motifs/symbols that I want to incorporate into the story. Having a list of those ideas and why I want them in the novel will hopefully remind me to intergrate themes into my stories a little earlier.
This is also a new category. I often think of my stories in terms of being part of larger story arcs, but I don’t note that kind of thing until the first book is done. I’m hoping that having a visual representation of the ideas, characters and conflicts that I want to carry over to the next books will help keep my book ready to be written as part of a series.
I don’t think of everything. And after I have everything laid out, I’m bound to realize a key element I’ve forgotten to include. So this is an empty box that I will use in case there is any outlying information that I want to add to my storyboard, but has no designated place.
And that is a tour of my storyboard for this coming up Camp NaNoWriMo. If you are wanting to join me in April in a cabin, leave me a message and we’ll chat!
Do you do any storyboarding for your writing? What kinds of things do you include?