Posted by on May 17, 2015 in Divas on Writing | 0 comments


Divas on Writing: Storyboarding

For the last couple of weeks, I have written about character, setting, and plot sheets. Today’s article isn’t so much a sheet but a close relative to it: a storyboard. Storyboarding your story can be done in a couple of different ways; it really depends on what you like. Storyboarding can help a writer who needs to better visualize the structure of their story from beginning to end. The majority of the storyboards I have seen look something like the picture below.

The purpose of the board is another way to outline your story using a simple layout that can easily be changed to suit your edits. You can clearly see the elements of your story and what direction your story will take while you write it. The use of storyboards has been generally associated with screenplays or film production. I took a storyboarding for film class in college years ago. We drew out every scene and shot of the student films we were making. It was a great tool to keep us on target and to have that much-needed visual. Storyboarding for your written fiction acts very much the same way.

Scrivener and Storybox are programs with the storyboard feature.

For the more technically minded, this tool is a better option than a poster board and Post-Its. You can have your whole outline on the program’s storyboards and switch back and forth while you write on one screen. Plus you don’t have the clunky poster board hanging out in your office. I have tried Scrivener and found that the PC version is very lacking compared to what I’ve heard of the Mac version, so my experience with the computer programs isn’t as favorable as I’ve found the old-fashioned way of poster board and sticky notes.

The layouts can vary. Like the picture above, you can list out chapter by chapter on your poster board. Or you can just create an outline with key topics you want to include in your novel without having a rundown of each chapter. Instead of sheets, you can also you storyboards for your characters, setting, and plot. Try it out and see where it takes you.

Do you use storyboarding as a way of outlining your novels? What method do you prefer? Tell us what you like the best about storyboarding.


Related Articles

The Five Basic Elements of Plot

The Three-Act Structure in Novels

How to Use Subplots

Plot and Genre

Plot Sheets

Lauren Schmelz (127 Posts)

Lauren Schmelz has been in the publishing and broadcasting field for over twelve years. She got her start editing and producing traffic news for local news affiliates in St. Louis, Missouri (NBC, CBS, and FOX). For the last four years, Lauren has worked as a freelance editor/manuscript advisor. Lauren was Managing Editor of Manuscript Development for the last year and a half at a small independent publisher. Currently, Lauren is a founding Diva with Write Divas and specializes in manuscript development, content editing, copy editing, marketing, and publicity. As COO of Write Divas LLC, Lauren oversees the daily operations of staff and client projects to optimize efficiency and serve authors with the highest quality of work whether it is the edit of their manuscript or the promotion of their marketing campaign and blog tour. She is married and has two young daughters. When Lauren isn’t editing or reading manuscripts, she is busy playing with her kids and exploring her hometown of St. Louis with her family. She is an avid reader, writer, movie enthusiast, and generally a smartass. Lauren hopes to publish her first book within the year. Lauren has worked with such authors as: M.A. Stacie, C.L Parker, Brian Sweany, Suzy Duffy, Jennifer Schmidt, Alexandra Richland, Alexandra Allred, Michele Richard, Liv Morris, and Joey Mills.

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