November 12th, 2010


This is my story board.  I tried to have a better picture but PhotoShop doesn't like me this morning.  I've made a little nest at the front of the living room for my board, thumb tacks, index cards, and post-its.  I drag my lap top over there and sit on the floor surrounded by my stuff.  The dogs and cat think it is wonderful.  I'm on the floor, obviously I'm there to play with them.

As I write, I put the index cards of different scenes on my story board where I think they are and what I think they are. 

I started on the board first, then I set to writing for a couple of days.  When I looked at the story board last night, I noticed there were some points on the board that I'd left out of the writing and things that I had written that weren't on the board. After I had matched them up and shuffled around a couple of story elements, I realized I had quite a full little tale going on. 

Yesterday, I discovered that my ending really wasn't the end, that it was really the Act II, Part II climax.  What I figured out for Act III last night really pulled everything together and brought good resolution to the story.  The story board has been a wonderful learning experience.  The visible representation has really helped me to focus and see where everything is going.

If you can see, the board is divided up into 4 columns, these are the Acts.  The columns are then divided in half creating a top and a bottom, those sections are sequences.

The index cards are scenes.  I'm averaging about 3 scenes per sequence.  In a full length novel, I should have about 4 or 5 per sequence.  This is supposed to be a long short story, so I think my 3 are working out about right.  What's funny, is the 3 cards/sequence was purely unintentional.  It wasn't until I sat down last night and correlated the board and my writing that I saw what I had.  Cool!  As you can see, I still have some work to do on Act III.

The colored post-its are location changes.  A change in location usually signals a change in sequence. 

Pink = the town
Orange = the woods
Green = the farm house
Blue= the bandit camp

The small yellow post-its are different story elements.  This was/is the hardest part for me.  I started off with them in the locations as suggested in the 3 Act Structure, but then moved them around to where I thought they actually were in MY story.  I am trying to follow the structure guidelines because I really don't know what I'm doing.  The are grouped in corresponding locations.

The pieces of stripped index cards are my antagonists

(Click on the picture for a better look.  This one is a bit fuzzy.)