Recently I completed recording the fourth interview in the Mentoring Writers ‘In Conversation With…’ series of interviews which I feature on my website and YouTube channel. The author I spoke to was a 2020 Mentee of Mentoring Writers, a debut novelist, and a member of Alli – the Alliance of Independent Authors. She spoke generously about her experience of working with me through MW and she also spoke highly of the resources both MW and Alli offer writers of all levels. We also discussed quite a few areas of her mentoring and she explained what benefits she had received from the programme. One of those was understanding the need for storyboarding, and she confessed to having her newest work clearly laid out on her wall alongside my mantra that writing is fun.
Creating a storyboard for your writing is much like creating a vision board in relation to your dreams and desires. It can be an especially thrilling activity for a person who loves to get messy with magazines, glue, scissors, and big dreams. Much the same when plotting out your storyline for your new manuscript. Mind you vision boards do differ slightly from storyboards, as one is achieving a dream of reality while the other is the reality of a dream or imagination.
Of course, there are elements that need to be considered when creating a vision board that will determine if you are indeed going to achieve all or some of the things/people/places/experiences you desire?
Yet isn’t that the same with storyboarding?
Aren’t we trying to achieve something special by creating the very same things/people/places/experiences that you need in your story; especially if you want your book to be a best seller?
Having looked at both vision and storyboards I do feel that there are very close similarities in each so here are some ideas from vision boarding which might enhance your storyboarding experience.
Place it where you can see it -
Putting your board where you can see it often, is a must. Seeing what you have placed on the board, whether visual images or written sticky notes, and looking at it daily, will allow the contents to imprint themselves into your subconscious mind.
Each time you look at your board, feel grateful for what you have already achieved. It might be the simple act of placing a draft board on the wall with the title My Storyboard, to those images or sticky notes you have already stuck up there. By doing this you will not only raise your feeling of achievement, but it will get you to that finish line a lot faster.
Think of the phrase: ‘Is it this, or something better?’
By not just accepting the ‘this’ you can go on to better things. Trust me when I say it’s natural to feel doubt and, dare I say it, even for fear to arise within you, when you think, ‘Am I doing this right?’ We all do it wrong the first time. So remember that everything unfolds or comes alive just as it should in perfect Divine timing. What your Universe delivers you will always be for the greater good of your ultimate goals.
Don’t feel you have to explain yourself
Now if a writer friend or just someone who is curious visits and looks at your board, then questions why you have, let’s say a photo of Methuselah stuck to your storyboard, please feel free to ignore them. You can if you wish to say, ‘Oh! I’m thinking of developing my antagonist based on her.’ Or just shrug your shoulders and change the conversation. Honestly, it’s no one else’s business what your goals, dreams, wishes, and desires for your story are. Besides, it means they’ll be eager to read the book which will give you the incentive to write a good one.
Take a photo of your board
Often we are so busy with other things in our lives that we leave our writing to smoulder. By having a photo of your board on your phone it means, when you have a spare few minutes, you can look at it. You never know, that seeing what’s there may just prompt you to add or change something relevant to progressing the story. You could go further in ensuring your board is in your subconscious mind by using that photo as wallpaper on your phone or desktop. Again, this will provide another way to activate your awareness.
Trusting in Your Universe
When we write we open ourselves up by giving of our emotions, our frustrations, anger, happiness, our ups, and downs. Using your board allows you to imagine beyond what you can see at this one moment in time. Your Universe loves you and is looking after your best interests; it trusts you implicitly, so can you return the favour by trusting it to guide you?
Believe in Yourself
All writers have moments when they stop believing in their ability to write or to come up with the ‘goods’ so to speak. If you are meant to write, regardless of those moments of emptiness, then you will write. All you have to do is believe in YOU. Writing isn’t that hard. It’s the act of putting words down on paper that means something. The minor problem is making sure you put them down in the right order. Believing in yourself and your ability to do just that goes a long way to achieving your goals. Thus, creating a story or vision board will help you understand the next step, the one after that, and all the others that follow. And if all else fails, get some advice, talk to fellow authors, chat with someone like me. Remember, we’ve all been there and had those moments when we stop and think – what comes next? But if we managed to work out, well, so can you.