Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I have a special surprise for you all in this post: a vlog.  I have never done a vlog before in my life, so I look kind of dumb.  But I'll get better as I make more, I guess.

Okay, I've heard the vlog is not working... so here's basically what I talk about.  I call it storyboarding, but as Evergreena pointed out, real storyboarding is what they do for movies! :)

I was making Psychology flashcards, but I spent way more time cutting out the flashcards than I did writing on them because I was sitting on a hard floor and my back hurt and the definitions were really long and boring and...yeah.  So I kind of pushed the Psych stuff to the side.

Several hours later, I was making an outline for Seaspear and it wasn't working.  So I thought, what if I take my stack of extra flashcards and write down all my scenes on them? Instead of a list of scenes on paper, I have individual paper squares, each representing a scene!

I got a large piece of cardboard and got to organize the whole story on it, left to right.

I'm going to give you the basic steps of my editing process in another post.  For now, I'll concentrate on the organizational part of editing.

After I finish reading and thinking about my story, it's like a huge knot in my head.  Like a HUGE knot that no way can I untangle on my own without knowledge of where the starting and ending threads are.
Organizing your concept of your story before editing is important if you want to get your pacing down right.  You want all your plot threads to be evenly patterned and go along together.

As I mention in my vlog, after my first draft is usually when I make my first real outline.  I stated the problems with the Me and Mr. Outline relationship, including:

- I can't manipulate the scenes easily
- I forget things and the outline gets messy
- I have huge breakthroughs while outlining which result in enthusiastic "Weehee! I've gotta scribble all this stuff all over my outline page now!"

So I broke up with Mr. Outline when I met Mr. Storyboard.  The perks of this new relationship follow:

- I can insert new scenes whenever I want and take out ones that aren't relevant anymore! No mess! (I sound like a Bounty commercial.)
- Storyboarding is my way to freeze my thoughts
- I can see how consistent I am with different POVs and where I may need to add more or take away more
- I can mark and move the main points of my story (objective, climax, etc.).

I'd encourage you to try storyboarding if you have trouble with a traditional outline.  It appeals to my creative side and my visual learning style.  For now, I better get back to work...

Have you ever tried anything like this? What is your first step to editing?


Ashley said...

What is storyboarding? You probably explained in the vlog, but it isn't working for me....:-/

Ellyn said...

Yep, it's in the vlog :( I'll fix it!

Ashley said...

Great! When will the next topic be announced?

Evergreena said...

I love index cards! Especially when they're color-coded. I love color-coding things... Usually when I start editing, I write out each scene on an index card, using the POV character's color. Example: MC would be on a green card, sidekick on yellow, mentor on orange, bad guy on pink (I don't have red!) and so-on. Then I can lay out my cards on the floor and get a high-level picture of what everyone is doing in the story, and re-arrange it as I wish.

I must add, however, that TRUE "storyboarding" uses a sequence of drawings to represent the story. That's what I'd love to do in the animated film industry someday. :)

(the video isn't working for me either)

Bethany said...

I love your blog!.. I don't really get the storyboarding thing though.. but it's still nice :)