Monday, February 4, 2013

Storyboarding in Scrivener

by Andrea Dickinson

I've heard wonderful stories from authors who use storyboarding and post-it notes to plot their books, and as a way to join my left and right brain, this sounds fabulous. What could be better than combining the visual of colored notes with an outlined story? But I'd never tried it before.

I've tried traditional plotting to the point where I knew exactly every GMC in every scene before I started writing...I didn't enjoy writing this way. And I've tried writing without any plan at all...I got stalled after the first third of the story. So, I know I fall somewhere in the middle between pansters and plotters, which I like to refer to as a plantser.

With my current WIP, I started using the notecards on the corkboard view of the outline in Scrivener. Each card represents a chapter and has brief notes about what might happen in those scenes. I can also color the cards to show the major turning points in the story.

This was working out great, giving me an idea of what direction I should be heading without losing the chance to discovery where my characters might decide to go on a whim. Then I reached the dreaded middle of my WIP, and I stalled. I checked the outline. Yep, I had stuff planned, but it felt forced. It wasn't flowing.

As I went to bed Friday night, I realized I had to rearrange the chapters. I had a significant event happening too early in the story. Time to go back to the corkboard. After an hour or so of creating new cards, rearranging the existing ones, and deleting dud ones, I had a better flow to my story...and it had been fun!

If you haven't given Scrivener a look, check out their 30-day free trial. The program has loads of great features for pulling together all your material for your book.

Philadelphia Storm, City Hearts book two, coming May 1!

now available as print or ebook!


Patricia Kiyono said...

I LOVE Scrivener! It's so much easier to see the whole picture this way. I especially like being able to keep all my research links, brainstorming sessions and any other notes I need all contained in the same file, but still separate from the actual manuscript.

WS Gager said...

I too love Scrivener. I'm still learning the finer points but I'm getting there!
W.S. Gager on Writing

Stephanie Michels, author said...

I love knowing there's a name for someone who is half-plotter and half-pantser, because that's me to the T!

Plantsers of the world, unite!
Off to look into Scrivener.