Monday, November 08, 2010

Revising a Manuscript: Storyboarding

I was now facing my story head-on, and began revising the early pages, which I knew didn't need drastic changes. Some changes in action, deepening of the characters, foreshadowing and adding images that supported the overall metaphor and theme.

But then I hit a brick wall when I looked over the changes that were necessary from then on, which involves plot point changes, adjustments in some of the characters, and a basic unraveling of the scarf I'd knitted with my first draft. Granted, that scarf was full of holes, dropped stitches, appendages that weren't in the pattern, but it was a scarf. What I was looking at now was a heap of knotted yarn.

So, I decided to write out a basic outline, and opened my story notebook. But I got tangled up again with small details and huge problems, and lost sight of the overall story. Then I remembered a storyboarding class I'd taken online several months ago. I took out a poster board, drew out squares--one for each chapter--and quickly began writing brief descriptions of plot onto sticky notes and putting them where I thought they belonged. Then I held out the board and could see immediately where story was missing, where characters needed more development, and where tension needed elevating. Then I stuck smaller notes where I wanted a character to do or say something, or what the weather was like (weather plays a big part in this story), or other events that needed to happen. Everything was right there in front of me, and I could move, delete, add as needed. The story is metaphorically and physically layered now.

I expect to change this storyboard as I go along, but I now feel more confident about going forward than I did 48 hours ago.

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