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Storyboarding | From Rubbish to Publish


Basic plotting by the use of a board of some kind and index cards to create a visual, easily changeable way of “seeing” the storyline as it develops toward completion.

Bulletin Board Method

  • Use a bulletin board of whatever size works for your storyline and/or the space you have available.
  • Use either the traditional white index cards or colored index cards, which are easier for quick visualization of differences in plot features.  Attach to the board with push pins.

Colored Index Cards Method

  • Yellow: Basic story elements of the chapter or scene, including the characters present, hint of setting, maybe the mood of the moment.
  • Green: Goals of the character(s), going from the initial long term goals to any modified goals to the final goals.
  • Orange: Basic minor conflicts (external or internal) along the storyline.
  • Hot Pink: Big conflicts (external or internal), including the main introduction of conflicts keeping the character(s) from reaching his(their) goal(s), minor conflicts along the way that specifically develop into complications that force plot/goal changes, and the major complication (black moment) where all seems lost or unattainable.

Write-On Board Method

  • Chapter Squares: Divide the board into squares for chapters or scenes either by drawing lines with the erasable pen or by using thinly cut pieces of masking tape for a more “permanent” group of squares. Then write the various storyline elements per chapter or scene in each square.
  • Clustering: Draw a network of circles containing specific story elements and connect with lines as appropriate to develop the basis for the plotline.
  • Outlining: Write the basic outline for the project on the board to use as a visual that you can erase and change as needed.

The Smarts

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This website is the work of Starla Criser, an author who has published more than 50 stories, both traditionally and through self-publishing routes.
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