The Storyboard Renaissance: Whole Manuscript Showcase—Preparing Your Storyboard, Part 4, by Kristen C. Strocchia

cat display

Hopefully, storyboarding along with this blog series has led to some helpful revising. I know it has for me. However, in the process, my original one-sticky-note-per-plot-beat has multiplied with extended information and/or notes to myself. And the setting backdrop picture for each scene plus a photo of all the characters in each takes a lot of space, which is visually overwhelming. So, here is where we revise the working Storyboard into more of a visual synopsis for the Storyboard Renaissance event display.

When deciding what to keep and what to cut, remember that less is more.

It might be helpful to use the Storyboard to help write your one-page synopsis, which will be critiqued at the event, and then to use the synopsis, in turn, to help streamline your Storyboard. (For help writing a synopsis, visit https://www.publishingcrawl.com/2012/04/17/how-to-write-a-1-page-synopsis/.)

A thumbnail sketch or digital mock-up can also be very helpful to create an overall visually appealing display.

IMG_3150

Digital mock-up

If you are unfamiliar with visual composition rules—that is, the basic visual layouts that are most pleasing to the eye—you may want to check out a photography site like https://photolemur.com/blog/35-composition-tips-for-taking-stunning-landscape-photos for some helpful pointers. Note that you only need to focus on one or two of the rules to make a more impactful presentation, so choose which ones work best for the story you want to tell.

When you have decided on how you want the overall layout to appear, remember that you have options as to how to incorporate your visuals. Besides taping/pasting each element, try drawing directly onto the board. Try laying out the story scenes vertically and horizontally to see which looks better on the space. Do leave negative space, or white space, and take advantage of the natural lead lines created by the plot diagram and the rule of thirds naturally formatted in the three-act board structure.

IMG_3146

Some elements can be drawn directly onto the board.

IMG_3147

You can create digital story beats and print them out.

IMG_3156

Try different layouts. This layout uses story beats showing character, plot, and setting in skinny vertical strips.

IMG_3168

This layout shows small story beats of plot and character overlaying photos of setting.

IMG_3170

Close-up details.

IMG_3166

Another option is to show fewer story beats with larger images on a larger setting (remember, less is more).

As to the individual story scenes themselves, less is also more here. Your faculty member will already have read your written synopsis, so the Storyboard should portray things like pacing, character development, emotion, and repetition of important elements within the story without additional words. However, too many characters or important elements will quickly overwhelm the viewer, so choose the main character, and perhaps the most important secondary character, and track only the few objects that are absolutely essential to the overall story. Feel free to include a brief visual character profile with a logline to help set up the character and story stakes as well. (For logline writing help, see https://www.scriptreaderpro.com/script-logline/.)

Remember, use this to serve your revision process. After writing the synopsis and drafting your Storyboard, continue to ask yourself questions that lead you to a stronger story. Be inspired and have fun with it! And don’t forget to register for the Storyboard Renaissance event in September for the opportunity to showcase your Storyboard and receive feedback from peers and one of our amazing faculty members. Hope to see you there!


Registration is now open for the Storyboard Renaissance event. Click here for all the information and to register.

Don’t miss the previous posts in this series for step-by-step help with your Storyboard. Even if you can’t make the event, Storyboarding can be a helpful tool for visualizing your manuscript as a whole.

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Events, Storyboard Renaissance, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s