A Storyboard Can Prevent Writer’s Block.
You might be asking; Why do I need a STORYBOARD? Let me ask you; do you have little bubbles of stories popping into your mind? If you’re Like me, if I don’t write them down they quickly vanish. We need a place to capture those magic moments.
Have you ever woke in the middle of the night with a fantastic idea. What did you do with it? Did you write it down? Could you find it today?
I’d like to introduce you to the storyboard. A storyboard is a place to, not just capture those bits and pieces of inspiration, but a place to find them later.
Now tell me; isn’t that what you want?
You never know where a fascinating new idea will come from. You need to be ready.
Putting your thoughts and ideas on a blank page can be intimidating. Whenever we get stuck, we go to our storyboard for ideas. When we need a description of a character or a setting we go to our storyboard.
Does that sound like something you would like to have? Are you wondering how you get started? That’s what the post is all about. We will guide you through the process.
- How we started
- Why you want a Storyboard
- What you put on your storyboard
- Create a digital Storyboard
- Keep all your Storyboard files available, any time, any place.
- A Storyboard will energize your creativity
How We Started
When we first started writing we had sticky notes all over the place. Nothing was organized. Great ideas were stuck in drawers and lost.
Obviously, something had to change. At first John put his sticky notes and ideas on his wall. This was our first storyboard.
John filled his storyboard with story ideas and thoughts about characters. He had Post-it notes and notebook pages on his wall. It was not unusual for him to write notes on napkins, if we were in a restaurant, when an idea came to him. Those notes also ended up on his storyboard.
When Patty began her storyboard, she wrote ideas in notebooks. She had a notebook for Characters. Another for Settings. Yet another notebook to keep track of Story or Scene ideas. She also created a notebook for Words and Phrases to help when we needed to describe specific things.
Does this sound like something you could use?
Now, Patty uses digital notebooks for her Storyboard, to keep track of her creative ideas. We’ll explain that in more detail, in a minute.
Why You Want a Storyboard?
Here’s an interesting thing. We all receive inspiration in bits and pieces. We see, hear, or smell something which triggers our creative juices.
The point of this post is to show you a few simple ways to organize those bits and pieces of inspiration.
A storyboard allows you to keep those creative ideas in front of you. When you have an inspiring idea, you write it down. Then you organize those thoughts, so you can Find and use them later.
With a Storyboard, you will be able to Keep Track of all your Magical Moments of Inspiration.
Listen carefully. A storyboard will give you the tools to fulfill your dream of becoming an author. It will allow you to reflect on multiple ideas and expand them in numerous ways.
Do you realize how wonderful that is for a writer?
What do you put in a Storyboard?
Gather Ideas for Your Storyboard
Do you have a great novel in mind? Start gathering ideas and thoughts. Organize them with your Storyboard.
- Characters: what does your main character look like. Use photographs of people you know. Clip pictures of people from magazine, or the Internet. Look for pictures of unique people. Download: Characters Profile Worksheet.
- Settings: where does your novel take place? Is it a place you are familiar with? Take pictures. Create short descriptions. If it is an exotic location, look up information about its history, and culture, how the people dress and speak. Put all these pieces of information on your storyboard. See:Show Your Characters Using your Setting.
- Story Ideas: These can be anything: simple thoughts, whole scenes or pieces of dialog. Write down those little bubbles of ideas that keep popping into your mind. If you don’t write them, they will float away. They do not have to be complete. You will have time to expand them later.
- Writing Exercises: Writing is an art. To write a great book you must learn the craft. Read books about writing. Keep copies of significant articles. Study writing techniques. Practice will expand your abilities. Slowly at first but with increasing insistence the writer inside you will emerge. You will have the ability to write wonderful, meaningful stories. See our article: 6 Tricks to Become a Power Writer.
Include Pictures on Your Storyboard
Include Pictures to Spark your Imagination
Pictures of Eyes, Clothes, Expressions and Hair styles
Pictures of Landscapes and Sunsets
Pictures of Cars, Houses, and Jewelry
Pictures of Cities, Rooms, and Architecture
You can create your storyboard in whatever way seems right for you.
WE have a list of websites to help you research your settings. Contemporary Settings, Historical Settings, Clothes Past and Present, and Fantasy World Building. Download Websites to Research Settings
Create A Digital Storyboard
Here’s the best news. Dozens of internet sites are designed to help you organize your creative ideas and categorize your thoughts, or fragments of thoughts.
These are just three examples. We included some information to help you choose the right one for you.
THEY ARE ALL FREE.
One Note is a digital note taking application.
Combining it with One Drive allows you to search, share, and access your notes from anywhere and on any device. If you have Windows 8 or 10 both One Note and One Drive are included in the software on your computer.
If you use Outlook.com for your email or subscribe to Office 365, look for the icon and click on it. Set up a free Microsoft account and check out the tutorials. If you don’t already have it, One Note can be installed on any device: PC Mac, IOS, or Android.
Create your notebooks. Add your ideas, pictures, etc. Record audio or video files. Organize your notebooks into topics and subtopics. Create as many notes and pages as you like.
Start writing! Keep your early stories on your Storyboard.
Later you will be able to see your improvements.
One thing we especially enjoy is the audio feature in One Note. Neither John nor I are good at typing, so note taking can be tedious. With the audio feature, we simply speak into the microphone, and One Note types the words. We can usually speak faster than we can type, so this also saves us time.
One Note can help keep track of your writing schedules and goals. It can help you with to-do-lists and many other features.
A digital Storyboard will allow you to share your writing with others.
Check out Tiddlywiki.
It is a free downloadable program, for note taking, writing, to-do-lists, creating calendars, and keeping track of almost anything. You put your content into notes called tiddlers. You can organize these notes in numerous ways.
Later you can retrieve your notes using tags and hyperlinks.
With Tiddlywiki.com your Storyboard can be customized with an assortment of themes, plug-ins, widgets, and languages.
Built in encryption to protect your content with passwords.
Tiddlyspot: is a free service to save your content to the cloud so you can collaborate with others to critique or edit your manuscript.
Create a blog, website, or author page.
Create a slideshow to promote your book.
Bookmark your favorite websites.
Community: A very friendly Google community offers help and advice on using Tiddlywiki and its many features.
See A gentle guide to Tiddlywiki to help you get started.
If that’s not enough, here’s another Free site.
If you plan to use your smartphone to gather pictures and ideas, Evernote might be your best digital note taking application.
Our brains are great for storing memories, but not so great at remembering details. To write a great story you must be able to describe the details.
Evernote allows you to use your smartphone’s camera along with the Evernote mobile app. You can take pictures of people, places, or documents. With Ever note’s auto mode, you simply point your phone, and let the app take a snapshot.
For more details see: Evernote.com
You can even use your device’s Speech to Text Feature to translate your voice to text. Then store it in your Evernote Storyboard.
This way your smartphone can become a mobile dictation tool.
Use Evernote to remind you, by scheduling notes to be sent to your email.
You can search for notes using tags, dates, word searches, and advanced search syntax. If you want, you can even color code your notes.
With a wonderful array of features, Evernote is one of the most popular note taking applications. You can use it with Mac, Android, and IOS.
- Make to-do-lists
- Create a calendar
- Automatically share notes
- Password protection
- Backup or export to One Drive or Dropbox
- Share with individuals or the public
- Instant messaging tool
- Web clipper tool
- Bookmark options
Don’t limit yourself, you can use more than one note taking system.
Here’s another great idea.
Keep All Your Storyboard Files Available Anytime, Anyplace
One Drive Or Dropbox
These applications sync your Storyboard files and notebooks to the cloud. You will never have to back up your files. Your notes and stories will be available anytime or anyplace, on multiple devices.
These programs allow you to easily collaborate with other writers, reviewer, or editors simply by sharing your password.
Both One Drive and Dropbox have simple set up wizards. Then you can drag and drop any folder into the program that you want to backup or share.
Both applications allow you to include photos and audio files. You can use them to send photos to Facebook or Instagram. You can host your own website, blog, or author’s page using the available software.
A Storyboard Will Energize Your Creativity.
Now when you need ideas for a new character or a new setting you just go to your Storyboard.
Let your mind flow with past experiences, to the point where you begin to recognize stories you could write about.
Recall colorful people you have known. Use these interesting people to create fabulous characters to write about.
While you’re at it, add those interesting stories and descriptions of fascinating people and places to your storyboard.
Check out our post: Boost Your Creativity (42 Fun Ways)
Begin by noticing interesting people and places around you. Write those down. Add them to your storyboard. Practice describing people, places, and stories you find in your everyday life. Soon you will discover your words will flow more easily and more elegantly.
When you go someplace new, stop open your eyes. Observe your surroundings. Describe what see. What do you smell? What do you hear? How do you feel in that place? Consider taking pictures. Put all those things in your storyboard.
Become a people watcher. Pick out someone, anyone and write a description of them. Describe their appearance, eyes, hair and dress.
- How do they move?
- Do they shuffle or stride quickly?
- Do they wave their hands when they talk?
- What is unique about them?
Consider keeping a Writing Journal with you. Write, take pictures, or dictate your thoughts. Add them to your storyboard, so you can use them later. The more you write the easier it will become.
Remember it is the details that capture readers.
You may find creative writing of tremendous value to you personally, which means it will eventually be valuable to your readers.
You don’t have to be an Expert to start Writing.
All it takes is practice. After a while, you’ll find it easier to create interesting characters and gripping scenes. Your vocabulary will improve. You will learn to paint pictures with your words. It is the small details that build your overall story.
Discover the magic. Relish the process
Visualize yourself as an author. Stretch your imagination.
Reflect on what it would feel like to write a novel. Your novel.
Now, that you have the idea, you can get started on your own storyboard.
John & Patty @writingagreastbook.com 2020