Spencer Brokaw published his first book The Impenetrable Spy in 2011 at age 12. He enjoys writing and plans on creating a series. He resides in Ohio and enjoys swimming, golfing, playing the drums, and reading.
One of the most helpful things you can do for your writing is creating a storyboard or an outline to keep yourself organized. On my most recent project, I created an outline, and I find it quite helpful. I’m the kind of writer that doesn’t lay out everything, just enough to keep me going. Below are some pictures from my mini composition book, where I lay out ideas for new stories.
Some of the phrases I put down are as little as, “Get Caught.” That right there gives me a few pages to write. My storyboards aren’t nearly as full of details as some writers. I cut to the quick when it comes to my storyboards, because I like seeing how the story unfolds.
I let my character’s actions lead me; I don’t want to already know what is going to happen. I like being surprised at what I write, and it thrills me to do so. I am a “Plotting-Pantser.” A phrase I learned from a fellow writer named Emerald Barnes. It is not possible to be one, but I am.
I like to plot out my stories, but briefly so I am led into the magical worlds I create. Writing without an outline is VERY hard. So when you write, whether it is a boring school project, your next Thriller novel, or a children’s book, lay out an outline, it will only help you.
I have used the storyboard format for years, mainly for detailing mockups for television commercials. However, I have found the format perfect for my artistic way of outlining my novels.
By sketching the scenes of a story, I can visualize how the characters move, the action: and this makes the scene more vivid in my mind. Below is a rough sketch of a storyboard from two scenes in Spencers’ written outline above. While I took liberties as to the scene contents, it is just a mockup to show you how a drawn storyboard looks.
When creating your own storyboard, think of a comic strip. The scenes are drawn in much the same manner.
I have created a simple 6-Panel Storyboard (PDF) you can download, print and use.