Now plotting a novel can sometimes feel like it is the most difficult part of the whole writing process. Yet it does not have to be.Â Before the internet, authors had to plan their book, or novel with pen and paper, or sometimes using a typewriter, and eventually upgrading to a computer.
Now some people have to carefully plan everything that they do, to them writing a novel is no different to doing anything else. Besides in many ways plotting your novel using a storyboard or anything else makes a lot of sense.
Storyboards can be either online, stored on your own computer, or for the more traditionalist amongst us printed out on separate pieces of paper.Â If you are not too computer literate, or you could not be bothered to set up your own storyboards, they are readily available to download usually free of charge from the internet.
People that are more confident with handling their computers, or that have more time, or inclination can create their own storyboards using standard packages such as Word, and Powerpoint. Word is more practical, yet Powerpoint is better at showcasing things and grabbing your attention. So a storyboard on Powerpoint could be used to gain interest from publishers about publishing your book.
You could make your own board and physically stick things to it on pieces of card roughly postcard sized, and then place additional ideas, or alterations on sticky notes.
Now storyboards are just as useful for fiction and non-fiction writers alike. That is because they give a structure to your book, a solid framework to put your story into place. All books need some kind of structure, in order for the plot of a fiction story to make sense, or for events in non-fiction works to be told logically.
Storyboards allow you to breakdown roughly where in the book you are going to inform your readers of what and how much they need to know to make sense of the story so far. Sometimes you want the audience to know exactly what is going on, whilst at other times you only keep them partially informed so that they have to work out what is happening.
The most practical way of using a storyboard is to split each board into related chapters, and then further divide into sub-chapters, sub-headings, or scenes.Â Doing this means that the book should be paced better. You are keeping the readers’ attention without telling them too much, or too little. Yet it means that chapters are kept to the right length, and that they do not go off on a tangent from the rest of the book.
Most authors have found that splitting a storyboard into three different but closely connected sections helps them to write a good, possibly even great book. If you like storyboards make sure that you as an author do not lose focus on what you are attempting to write about.
The first part is the introduction. In fiction these are the highly important opening chapters where you need to immediately grab your reader’s attention. In a non-fiction work it is the place to introduce the subject whilst convincing the reader that you know what you have written about.
Then there is the main body of your book. In fiction that is the part that the main events are described, and also is the bit where you have to convince the reader to carry on reading until the end. In non-fiction it is the section where the bulk of the information is given to your reader.
The third and final part is the finale. This is when you disclose who the killer was, who the spy was, or if the main characters rode off in the sunset together and lived happily after. In non-fiction it is where the reasons and the consequences of events are explained to your audience.