Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Writerly Wednesday - Introduction and Supplies
First I'll remind anyone reading this that I'm presenting this as my own methods of writing. There are very few people who have the same approach or process toward writing and this applies even more to storyboarding. In no way is this intended to be "the one true way" to do anything.

I've decided to present this as a journey through a story from idea to storyboarding to beginning to write. The results will be available in my newsletter because I've chosen to make my newsletter story - Games Coyotes Play - my demonstration story.

I'll be honest that I've done this for several reasons.

One is that most publishers don't want you to have more than a small percentage of a story you are trying to sell already on the web. So using a new story that I want to sell would be a bad idea.

The second is that plagerism happens. More often than you want to believe and even to starting authors like me. I work hard for my stories and I want to believe it won't happen to me - but I'm not that much of an optimist. So I had to use something that, if it were plagarized, it would perhaps be recognizable as mine by someone and wasn't something that would directly cost me money. So if anyone sees a story that looks a lot like mine with coyote shifters and all, please turn the thief in :)

The third reason is that I began this story BEFORE I learned to storyboard and I'm feeling the lack. I need to get it settled in my own head, so this will help me too.

I'm always up to questions and comments, so don't hold back. Hopefully this will help others and be a good exercise for me as well.

Before I delve into the story next Wednesday, you need some supplies in order to storyboard. Here is a list of what I use.

Foam Core Board
I really like the folding presentation boards for storyboarding. They are very convenient because I can fold the two sides in, with post-it notes intact, and not worry about them getting knocked off or moved. Since I move them to wherever I'm writing and often have several stories that are storyboarded but not currently being written, I can tuck the waiting ones in the closet and unfold them when needed. I own five of these boards at the moment.

I use the white boards but I have seen some dark ones. The white ones merely reduce the number of pens I need to have and are cheaper. I also think the colors of post-it notes show up better for me.

I'm a dedicated Sharpie fan - the ink stays even when my son spills stuff on the notes. I only use black and I keep several retractable medium point black sharpies in my supply bucket.

I'm also a relatively neat writer and I don't write LONG bits of info on the post-it notes, so that also lets me use a bolder pen. It's easier to read from a distance, as well.

Post-It Notes
I use three different sizes of post-it notes when I storyboard. I keep about 5 of each color of the 3x3 and 1.5x1.5 notes in my storyboarding bucket but just the yellow lined ones in the 4x4 size.

There are all sorts of shades of notes out there. I happen to like the Super Sticky ones because I move my notes around a lot. The only important things are to make sure you can tell the colors apart instantly and you can read your writing on the note. After that, go with what you like.

3x3 Post-It Notes
I use 3x3 Notes for POV characters only and on them is written the scene information in the color note for whomever the POV character is. I'm a huge hater of head-hopping so this helps me keep on track.

I usually use:
- Pink = Heroine
- Blue = Hero

If I have any other POV characters, I use a different color for each one of them. But ONLY POV characters get a 3x3 note.

1.5x1.5 Post-It Notes
These are the notes I use for prompts, for plot points, for triggering items, etc.

My standards are:
- Green = Pacing/midpoint notes
- Orange = Sex

4x4 Lined Post-It Notes
These are used for making notes of character appearances, families, paranormal abilities, etc. Basically for anything that I need a quick reference for.

You'll need this to mark off the foam core the first time you use each one. After that, it's not needed.

Removable/Repositionable Tape
I keep a roll of this on hand for the occasion when I've moved a note a bunch of times and the adhesive refuses to work properly. Not a necessity but I nice thing to stow in the bucket.

Next Week
Next week I'll walk through setting up a new board and then beginning to storyboard the plot points and turning points.

Labels: ,


  1. You seriously have me interested in trying the big board thing. I'm just trying to picture how to adapt it since I only use the bigger 4x4 lined post-it's and my color code changes from story to story. Right now Havoc's trilogy is in blue, the Dog Wild books are in yellow, Fang Tower in pink, Blood and Honey is red and my Del is orange with white as my sheikh title. I wonder if the husband would freak if I got that organized. He loves organization and has fits if I touch his desk, no idea how he can tell but he can.

Post a Comment