While skimming the latest e-mail from Writers Digest today, I came across 4 Ways to Improve Narrative Drive in Your Story, by historical novelist, Sara Sheridan.
What leapt out at me was thinking of your story in a storyboard format, like a graphic novel, a comic book. I'm a visual writer, I see the scenes unfold in my mind as I write them, like a film. That means everything is written, even the stuff the readers doesn't need to know about. It's why editing is such a pain for me. What do I keep and what do I cut? What could I expand on and what doesn't quite fit?
But storyboarding... I'm not an artist - in no way, shape or form can I draw - but to create squares with a few words in them so I can visualise, or better yet, search the web for the images I need, that sounds like a plan.
According to Ms Sheridan, it's a great way to see if your story is balanced. Can you imagine a comic book with squares and squares of scenery rather than action or meaningful dialogue?
I can already imagine the opening sequence of my current WIP in comic-book format. It might seem like doubling my workload, but if storyboarding smooths out the rough edges, then it's another useful item in the writer's toolbox.
I think I'll go play with the shiny new toy, if only for the first three chapters. Maybe it will make writing the synopsis easier.