Storyboards are a visual tool that you can use when planning your novel. They make it much easier to see the story structure and in this week’s column that’s what I’m focusing on. There are lots of different ways to create a storyboard. You can draw it on a board, a piece of paper, or use a computer file. It’s helpful for visualising your story in book form and you can see where your turning points need to be, your resolution, etc. Storyboarding is a great way to see how your scenes will play out and hopefully the links I’ve chosen below will provide you with lots of ideas and tips on how to use storyboarding in your novel planning process.
- https://www.jennysoft.com/2013/02/06/how-to-storyboard-your-novel/ – How to Storyboard Your Novel: There are different approaches to storyboarding and in this article the author uses a combination of sketches to show the key action scenes along with brief descriptions of what will happen. The example used is Jaws and the key scenes, or beats, are giving little sketches. The article also includes some handy tips on how to storyboard your novel which should be helpful too.
- https://prowritingaid.com/art/453/How-to-Use-Trello-to-Storyboard-Your-Novel.aspx – How to Use Trello To Storyboard your Novel: This article from ProWritingAid discusses how to use the software Trello for storyboarding. It’s free to sign up for an account and lets you capture notes, documents, pictures, and more. You create lists or cards and then add information. For example, you might be working on characters and you can have images, background notes, etc. This article explains the process for those who prefer to use software.
- https://hobbylark.com/writing/How-to-Outline-a-Novel – How to Outline a Novel: This article has a great section on how to storyboard for your novel. It explains what a storyboard is and how much fun they can be to create. Whether you use sticky notes, pictures, noted squares, etc, you can have everything laid out in front of you so you can easily see where you novel is going and how all the scenes fit together.
- https://www.pcwrede.com/storyboarding-for-novelists/ – Storyboarding for Novelists: Although storyboards originated in the film industry, they can be very useful for novelists too. This article includes examples of sketch based storyboards, post-its, and excel spreadsheets. Each has its own explanation too so you can decide which one will work best for your novel approach.
- https://www.vivienreis.com/post/storyboard-outlining-for-your-novel – Storyboard Outlining for Your Novel: This article and included video talk about how to create a storyboard outline for your novel. It explains that a storyboard is a physical outline of your novel, something you can look at to see the big picture of how it will progress. Storyboards can be great for helping to straighten out any plot holes and to see if your plot actually works. The article also tells you how this author made her storyboard.
- https://www.brookeharrison.com/how-to-create-a-storyboard-for-your-novel/ – How to Create a Storyboard for your Novel: Storyboards are great for identifying key plot points in your novel and it’s also a lot of fun. By creating a storyboard you get a visual overview of the timeline of your story and where all the important events will take place. This article talks you through the materials you will need to create your storyboard, the layout, and how to add your plot points.
- https://jademphillips.com/2012/12/01/outlining-and-storyboarding-your-novel/ – Outlining and Storyboarding Your Novel: The last link for this week comes from Jade M Phillips and it looks at 4 different methods you can use to outline and storyboard your novel. The first of these is the sticky note storyboard followed by the W Storyboard. Both talk you through the method and structure. Method 3 is using writing software and method 4 is traditional outlining using pen and paper.
I hope you enjoyed the links today and have a better understanding of what storyboarding is and how to create a storyboard for your novel. Whether you choose to go with post-its, sketches, or storyboarding software, I hope you have fun with your creation and see how useful it can be for assessing plot and story. If there is a topic that you would like to see covered, get in touch and I will see what I can do.
(c) Amanda J Evans