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.


  1. Very inventive. I enjoyed this post very much.
    Jackie King

  2. Thanks, Jackie. The acrostic reminds me of the importance of storyboarding for me. It really helps. Thanks for your comment.


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