Sunday, August 10, 2014

Storyboarding Noxumbra

Recently, I finished storyboarding my WIP, Noxumbra. 

Gorgeous, isn't it? 

It was a very interesting process, and I'm going to share the basics of what I did with you today.

Each sticky-note has the bare bones of one (or more) scene on it. White notes are scenes in Gwen's POV; yellow notes are in Bev's POV. The blue and purple ones off to the side are various editing/worldbuilding/general notes.

I tried to make it so that each sticky-note had just one scene on it, that way if I wanted to move scenes around, all I had to do was move the sticky note. I didn't do very well with that, but hey, it was a learning process.

The four yellow stickies in the photo on the right could have been reduced to one sentence: they argue. But, I'd forgotten I'd written that argument, and I loved it, and I kind of got carried away writing it down. At least now if I need to remember what was said in that argument and don't want to search through my Word doc, I can look here.

On some stickies I also put down the start of a new chapter; something big happening in the plot, like stakes being raised (this is another part of the process I could have done better/more consistently); places where I left giant holes between scenes; or things I noticed about the scene that needed to be fixed.

What's next, now that I have this giant collage of white and yellow and not-so-neat handwriting? My goal for the next stage of revision is to fill all those places that say [Big Hole], especially this one -->

I knew time needed to pass and that more mystery stuff needed to happen, but at the time I wasn't sure how I wanted to write that section, and I needed to finish that draft before Camp NaNo started. So, I skipped over. I did that a lot. Here's another one:

 I tended to do this more the farther along I got in the story, and the closer to Camp NaNo I got. This is, I think, the result of my half-plotted (I know that a clue needs to be found here), half-pantsed (I have no idea what that clue is) method of writing this draft.

My overall plan looks like this:
- Fill in all the places that are unfinished or have skipped bits.
- Fix the mystery. Make sure clues are planted, try to misdirect, make sure that everything lines up how it should.
- Then it's onto character arcs and such. Making sure everyone stays consistent and makes sense and has a hard time of it.
- I need to do some worldbuilding too, but that'll probably go on throughout this whole process.
- And last of all I'll do my micro-edits.

I may do some color-coordinating with highlighters for different plot lines or character arcs, too. (There's a chance I'm kidding myself that it'll be this organized, but we'll see.)

Also, by going through and writing down the essence of each scene, I got to reread the whole story and reevaluate which parts need reworking, without getting caught up in a "Oh my that's so awful I need to fix it now" moment. There were a few things I fixed on the spot, but since I was storyboarding and not technically editing, I didn't feel like dropping everything to fix something immediately. I also got to see where my strongest and weakest points are.

Doing this gave me an overview of the story and what needs fixing, and I think that will be invaluable once I start digging into edits again.

I think that about covers it. Have you ever storyboarded before? If so, what did you learn?


  1. Great post! I haven't story boarded before, but I will soon. I like what you did and might adopt some of it. :D

    1. Thanks! I hope your storyboarding goes well. :)

  2. This looks awesome! I'd love to do this, but I'm partially afraid I'd use it as an excuse to procrastinate. :P


    1. Yeah, I could see how this could be used to procrastinate. :P It all depends on how you discipline and reward yourself and set up goals. (I'm having the procrastination problem on getting started editing again...)

  3. This is really cool! I tried this with index cards and I didn't like it as much but doing it with stickie notes sounds great! I have some plotting I need to do soon. XD I have a major rewrite coming up. Lots of changes (like taking machete to manuscript changes), but I have a good feeling about them. ^ ^

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