My WIP (work in progress) is a fantasy (a genre I have yet to explore in my writing); a Fae piece that arrived as a result of my adoration of The Cruel Prince and ACOTAR, and the discovery that the name of my great-grandmother (Ness Serpes) fit the wild, unpredictable and vengeful Faerie that had been on my mind for some time.
As it was soon be Camp NaNoWriMo (THAT STARTS TODAY) when I started thinking about Ness, I started considering a possible plot for a fantasy novel (something that perhaps involves corruption, human involvement, and (of course) magic), and I have since discovered that the wonderful part of fantasy is that you can play around with everything. It is entirely a word of your own creation.
I have struggled with novel planning in the past – I often start aimlessly writing chapters in the hope that they will lead to something coherent, and get very despondent when they don’t fit together. However, this time, thankfully, Lizzie’s post arrived in my inbox, and with board and supplies in hand, I started storyboarding.
It is wonderful. I am at my most productive when storyboarding, and my current WIP is the first piece that I have a PLANNED ENDING for. I have yet to plot certain elements in the middle of the novel, but having an ending is VERY satisfying.
I have yet to think of a confirmed title, but my working title is The Princess Usurper, which is growing on me the longer it percolates, even though I do still think it is a bit of a mouthful (let me know what you think in the comments please).
Here are some (not so detailed) tips that I have if you’re thinking about storyboarding your project:
COLOUR CODE – it is easier to navigate, and far more aesthetically pleasing. I use orange for plot, yellow for quotes and if I want to elaborate on a particular aspect of plot, green for character, and pink for logistics like title and place.
POST-IT NOTES – I find post-its look a little more orderly, and are cheaper than notecards and pins. And whenever you need to swap a note, or change a placement of an event, you just pick it up and quickly stick it somewhere else.
SIDE NOTE: That is what I LOVE about storyboarding – it is so easy to play around with your thoughts. For example, in my WIP, there is a little bit of travel, and if I realise (while plotting) that a particular scene may be nonsensical if they have not yet been to a particular place, I just pick up the note with that particular scene (I’ll stop saying particular now) on it, and move it to a better location.
SHARPIES – a small tip, but EVERYTHING stands out when you use a Sharpie. I have my board on a wall beside my bed, and when I look over at night, I can read it back, and add anything that quickly comes to mind before I go to sleep.
Simple tips, but they seem to work for me so far.
That is my experience with storyboarding!
If you’re stuck with a project, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. It helps you view a piece as a framework, rather than individual brushstrokes. You can plan an entire plot, and any minute detail in one place, and are able to see what works, and what doesn’t. It gives you the ability to problem solve, while also creatively develop a project.
It is, undoubtedly, my new favourite way to plot.
Sorry if this post was a little rambly and nonsensical – I LOVE talking about storyboarding (believe me, I’ve been doing it a lot), but I’m also very excited about Ness and my WIP.
Thank you for reading!