Sunday, September 30, 2012


Subplots and extra layers can be dropped and forgotten as writers rush to bring all threads together, especially the main story plot. A dress mentioned in chapter two and brought up again in chapter six must have signficance in chapter twenty-one, or thereabouts. A reader requires satisfaction in bringing together two secondary characters drawn to each other in chapter eight. We want to discover there's a new romance in the works before we close the book.
The picture shows the rough beginnings of my work-in-progress. I purchased an inexpensive poster board and a bunch of different color post-it notes. That's it. I am now going back over it with pastel colors to mark four distinct subplots. Surprise, surprise, I had left two teens hanging with no romantic conclusion, but thanks be to storyboarding, I discovered the error in time to change things.

I remember lessons best by writing acrostics. Here's what I came up with to show the benefits or steps for storyboarding.

S Satisfaction in all subplots

T Threads that we mustn't drop

O Outlines whole manuscript in one swoop

R Rectifys errors in plotting

Y Yardstick to measure how many times something is mentioned.

B Boosts your ability to write an enjoyable read.

O Organizes your millions of notes

A Affixes small forgotten items that should be mentioned again

R Rambling is something we writers don't want to do

D Design blossoms on a big board.

I I love it!

N Novel tracking a new way

G Gallery of story pictures

This can be used when you begin a novel to keep you on target, or when you near
the end, the big board can point out errors or problems in plotting that you can correct.

I first learned about storyboarding when I took an online course from Shayla Black (aka Shelley Bradley). Find an earlier post about the course.

My simple mind couldn't take in everything she taught, but one thing I concluded from her instruction. I'm a visual person. A board with different colors offers me a visual image of what I've included and what's left out of my plot.

HAPPY STORYBOARDING and HAPPY WRITING from the books to write by gang.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

"Victoria's Ghost" by Janet K. Brown, Sharing the Journey

I just finished reading Victoria's Ghost written by my friend and fellow blogger, Janet K. Brown. I was privileged, along with other members of this blog, to observe the growth of this book from the germ of an idea to a completed project. Sharing the journey with Janet began with her detailing her ideas for the story. I was excited because some older members of my Bible Study had lived in that community growing up when it was a booming oil-producing town. Debra and Stephanie were excited because it was going to be a Youth Adult, which both of their teenagers like to read. We read each chapter she either posted online or brought to our monthly critique meetings where we share our current works. I was fortunate enough to attend the Oklahoma Federation of Writers Conference in Oklahoma City with her when she was asked to submit her finished manuscript. She has shared her adventures of getting the call, marketing, polishing the final copy after editor suggestions, and the arrival of the actual book in the mail. We've celebrated each step of the way. We are thrilled to share this experience with Janet. It was such a pleasure to read the published copy of the book we had all grown to love as we cheered for Janet on her road to publication. Congratulations seems a hollow word to express my own excitement at Janet's success. Her hard work and perseverance in seeking and securing publication of her first book is a well-earned reward. Way to go, Janet. I'm proud of you. Not one to rest on her laurels, she is hard at work on the story of another teen-ager who lives in the Clara Community. I can't wait to read it. Purchase her book and enjoy Victoria's adventures at Clara Cemetery. You'll be glad you did.

Writing Tip of the Day