Monday, April 23, 2012

Storyboarding Techniques

Ahh, it's the end of Monday and I'm still kicking! This is always good news. :)

This last week and this week are simply full of mass insanity when it comes to activities, but I'm still managing to squeeze in time to get my writing done. Yay!

I haven't touched my main WIP in a while (I know, I know) but, instead, I've been fiddling with a little side project. I'm working on a novella.

The idea was that with a quicker storyline (and it being a stand-alone book with no further plot arches) it would be simpler to write, as well, and would help me to view my main WIP with a bit more confident an eye.

It's actually been harder!

In order to make a believable storyline, I now have to squish all the necessary bits in more efficiently.

Haha! Joke is on me!

So I decided to tackle my issue, head-on. I know, crazy concept, right?

The issue, for me, lies entirely in the complexity of planning. I always write up an outline when The Muse visits. Unfortunately, I have Writer's ADD and my scenes sort of drift off the necessary path-Oo squirrel!

So I started looking up ways to correct this issue.

Right now, I have two separate methods that I'm trying. In fact, they seem to be helping, but only together. Ugh. If it works, though, I won't knock it, lol.

Idea Numero Uno!

"Kickin' it Old Skool cuz I'm an old fool who's so cool!"

Okay, that sounds wrong coming from me, but it is what I'm doing, here. I outline the chapters, then the scenes in the chapters. The scene, itself, is summarized in pink or blue depending on whether it's the heroine's POV (pink marker) or the hero's POV (blue marker). Then I use a purple pen to draw emoticons that indicate the feeling of the scene, so that I remember to really enforce that emotion. Hearts indicate a romance point like "First Kiss" or "Gettin Jiggy Wit' It". This is actually pretty neat because I use a whiteboard, it's simple to change up and it really helps to be PART of the storyboarding, myself.


  • Easy to use!
  • Love playing with colors!
  • I love whiteboards and, no, I don't know why. But they are AWESOME.
  • I get to really "manhandle" my storyboard


  1. I have children and have to keep them away from the board 
  2. I have a dog and have to keep her away from the board
  3. I have a husband and have to keep him away from the board
  4. I'm a klutz and have to keep me away from the board
  5. Any accidents, and I lose my scene, yeouch!
  6. Need a much bigger board and a lot of wall space upon which to hang it

Possible Fixes for each Con bullet

  1. Get rid of children
  2. Get rid of dog
  3. Get rid of husband
  4. I think I'm just stuck with that one :D
  5. Use sticky notes!
  6. Win lottery and build "My Dream House for Writers"

Idea Numero Secundo!
Scrivener! My awesomely good friend, Jodie, brought this up last night, so I decided to download the 30-day free trial. You know what's extra cool about the free trial? It's non-consecutive. Boo yah! So if you don't use it for five weeks, you don't get charged for any of that time. It's 30 days' worth of time, however those 30 days are accumulated. :)

So I started using it last night. It's SOO awesome. ZOMGuacamole, it really is. It's not too expensive, right out, and then considering what it does? *sings* AWESOME-sauce!

Check out this video for a quick view of Scrivener. It's so massive and yet simple, that the only one that really does it justice is the 35 minute video. But I'm not going to post that. If you REALLY want to see that, you can find it here

I'm having an absolute blast with Scrivener. And it's actually made me realize a number of different things that I hadn't really thought of, before.

Again, I'm only one Day 2. So there's that... but I'll have more up, later, on my thoughts. :)

Additional Ideas List:

Snowflake Storyboard Method

Key ring: 
A nice gentleman on Twitter (@DerekMcPhee) offered up the idea of a little note-keyring.

A Tri-fold:

Use a tri-fold presenter board (like for your kids' science projects) with sticky notes.

The Snowflake method:

Check here for more details!

There are a whole lot of other methods out there to help writers keep our scenes and stories straight. The storyboarding helps not only to ensure we stay on-target in writing our scenes, but also to make sure that we're on the right path to fleshing out our characters. As the storyboarding progresses towards the end of the novel, I see a lot of different aspects to my main characters that I didn't notice before. Granted, this happens no matter how you write, but maybe learning those things earlier on will make the writing process easier. :)

Happy writing, my friends! Now get to it!


  1. I should have mentioned that, while I do use the keyring method, I usually only use that when I'm out of the house. I, like you, tend to use the whiteboard method when I'm at home. My problem with the whiteboard is that if I get really into working on a specific project, I tend to run out of room to write anything out. I've resorted to filling a board, snapping a picture of it, wiping it down and continuing. Wash, rinse, repeat, complain about my whiteboard not being big enough, etc. Still, lots of good ideas and I'm going to check out Scrivener and I'll let you know what I think.


  2.  I like the photo idea. That would help with "Cons" 1, 2, 3, and 4. I like it a lot. :D

    Please do let me know what you think about Scrivener. I've been using it for my novella but I put my Novel into it, last night and it was quite a different experience. Still positive! But definitely different aspects that I hadn't noticed with the shorter work, beforehand.

    I really focused on the "Whiteboard" aspect when I put my novel into it and it was actually quite nice! I'm going to play with it a bit more, but I may end up consigning my whiteboard to my day-job! Which would be wonderful for all topics concerned. :)

    I'm off to grab a note-pad keyring! Again, thanks for the suggestion!


I would love to hear what you have to think! Please remember your manners and I'll try to do the same. ;)