01 02 03 Amorina Rose Writes: Alison says story boarding has unexpected merits 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Alison says story boarding has unexpected merits

Hi All
Last time I talked about critique.  I have now fully recovered from my trauma.  The insight it gave me was invaluable, and it didn’t just help one book, it helped the other four in the series.
It still blows me away sometimes that the beginning of my series actually began as a 25 page short story. Then I asked myself a simple question – What if?  
Originally the series stood at five novels and six short stories. However, I’m not really talking about my series.  I wanted to talk about how the critique from the first book, urged me to follow through with the rest.

One of the issues the critique highlighted, could only be fixed by carefully and clearly laying out what was happening in each chapter. I’ve never been one to ‘storyboard’ my ideas. I have always preferred to write my story down first, then go from there. My ideas usually explode and I have always found story boarding at the beginning a little too stifling for me. But that’s just me.  Usually I storyboard around the second or third draft, and then it’s very basic. However, my story relies on certain events happening in sequence and it needed to be tightened. 

 Recently on a Sunday afternoon I spent three hours story boarding and sticking sticky notes all over a wall. Of course I had different colours for different characters so by the end of it my wall looked like a patchwork quilt.  I left it there for a day or two, glancing and mumbling whenever I passed it. Then it was suddenly clear to me.  I admit I lost track of time, it was daylight when I started and then, in a blink of an eye, it was night. In that time my patchwork quilt had changed pattern and had new patches. Of course, I just couldn’t leave it there, my characters were revitalised and demanded attention .  I agonised over book two, and with the critique in mind, made the heart wrenching decision that book two was not going to happen in its current form.  So over the course of a very long week, (for some reason, I still had to go to work), a new book two was born, absorbing book three. Book five became book four and parts of the short stories were included throughout all of the books.   Of course this meant going back to book one and adding a few more patches.  

Now someone might ask why didn’t I storyboard in the first place. Well, the truth of the matter is, I’m difficult, stubborn and like to do things my own way, (just ask my husband).  It just wouldn’t have worked for me then. I would have still made the same mistakes, and more than likely would not have had the ideas that I hope, has made my book(s) better.

Now I am in the middle of rewriting and remodelling. It’s exciting really. I’m seeing my book from a different angle and can’t wait to finish it.  I know my characters are very pleased with the outcome!

Until next time.

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