Defining Thought | Describing Creation | Telling Stories | Illustrating Concepts

A Super Easy Way to Storyboard

How to Storyboard

What happens when you have a great story but just too many things going on that’s it’s hard to keep track?  Getting organized with a storyboard can help with that!

I use Microsoft Excel to create a spreadsheet and I use a poster board to draw out my entire storyboard. 

I start off with one workbook in Excel with countless worksheets.  Each workbook starts you with 3 worksheets that you can get to by simply clicking the different ones, which look like tabs. You can add, delete, copy, move, paste, rename, color, and alphabetize these worksheets. 

For example:  

  1. Do a monthly plotline for your story by naming each worksheet after a month.
  2. Organize the sections of you book by naming the worksheets after your chapters and only write information about that chapter in that worksheet.
  3. For epic novels, create worksheets based on the book information, i.e;
  • Animals, 
  • Character Names,
  • Magic,
  • Religion,
  • Chapter Title,
  • Character Skill,
  • Characters Chapters Appearance,
  • Outline,
  • Events,
  •  Glossary,
  • Weather,
  • Society.
  • Create a character profile workbook and name each tab after the characters in your book.

You will also be able to have a quick reference guide for your writing. This will help you keep track of what’s what.

i.e. You will not forget what Calis was wearing when she was getting married and ran off with Jared, because you can write down this important information you know you will have to describe in book 3 as a flashback.

I coincide my Excel spreadsheet with a large construction paper layout, which has what I call my 3-prong fork timeline:

One line in the middle, one on top, and one on the bottom.

  • Top Timeline – I have my good characters, or I can make it based on a certain objective, race, plot, etc.
  • Middle Timeline – My main plot is the middle timeline, everything must come back to this timeline no matter how far I veer off. But try not to veer off too far. No more than three – five tiers. (subplots)
  • Bottom Timeline – I have my bad characters, or I can make it based on setbacks toward the objective, a rival race, complexity in the plot, etc.

Based on where the main plot is on my middle timeline, I make sure my top and bottom subplots are parallel and I am able to tie both back to the middle before the story ends.

So how do you storyboard?

Photo courtesy of:  digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu

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