Story boarding? a useful tool, or limiting factor?

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Story boarding? a useful tool, or limiting factor?

Postby Rune Dancer » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:01 pm

Hey folks,

Well i wanted to post a little something about a technique i use to help organize/plot and write a story. A lot of you might have heard of Story boarding as something used for cartoons and whatever what naught comes to mind, but i wish to share with you how i use the technique and i hope to get some input to help improve the technique. The reason being that quite frankly, I'm stuck. Not a little stuck, but mired in a tarpit of absolute loss of words. I KNOW how my stories are supposed to progress but they've all come to a grinding halt. So without further ado, here's the process.

Story boarding isn't a complicated thing to say the least. In fact its probably the simplest thing ever depending on your mind set and how far ahead you like to plan. Now a lot of folks might ask, "why story board at all? why not just write the damn story?" Well simply put it helps keep track of ideas you might want to put into the story later on, or weed out what you don't. and for a scatterbrain like me its essential to keep all the idea's somewhere. Secondly story boarding can provide a useful road map for you when you write, getting you from event to event and making you think of the smaller problems instead of worrying about the large ones. (Ie. Instead of worrying how to get from A to Z, you work on getting from A to B to C smoothly) Lastly, Boarding a story also provides a useful tool for editors who like to chirp in on your work, allowing them to make suggestions/corrections to the story flow without accidentally re-writing the whole story.

Now to make a story board, you simply need to TELL THE STORY! it doesn't even have to be a story that makes sense or even follow a particular pathways. so long as you cover the MAJOR events and elements that you want in your story. with that in mind, heres a few pointers.

1. Be as general as possible! your not out to write the whole story at once, you're trying to PLAN it. write out a brief synopsis of the event you want to put in, but dont go so overboard you end up writing yourself into a corner (I've done so many times and it SUCKS)
2. Don't limit yourself to a A to Z order! a story is almost never truly linear, and neither should your board! if you think of a idea but dont know where to put it, write it somewhere in the board anyway and look at it later. you might just find a slot to put that block in.
3. Update constantly. We all know that when you start writing a story, you sometimes end up somewhere unexpected, or realize later you've provided yourself a opportunity to write a interesting sub plot. Don't be afraid to rework the board to help accommodate this.
4. Finally, be creative, have fun, and don't let it daunt you.

So heres a template for how i generally write my story boards.

Spoiler: show
1. open up with ____ and _____ having issues with ______ (but said issue is caused by _____)
2. ______ tells _____ that they should ________ to fix the issue. This inevitably fails miserably causing _______ to cause a bigger problem
3. ______ ends up involving everypony to try to solve the problem with _________. They come together and _________ the _______ and thus fix the problem
(Idea, _________ and ________ also are romantically interested in _____ so they fight a bit.)
(Random ideas 2, 3, 4,....


So see nothing to it. so anyone got a opinion?
A random story from the depths of my head. http://www.ponyfictionarchive.net/viewstory.php?sid=1363 Yea I know, its a bit crappy but I'm proud Dammit!
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Re: Story boarding? a useful tool, or limiting factor?

Postby RBDash47 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:01 pm

It sounds kind of like an outline. Or really, like the halfway point between a story outline and the story itself. I think it sounds like it could be helpful if you're stuck.
Rainbow is best pony.
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