Writing Tools: Character and Storyboarding

Back in February, I taught a free workshop on Storyboarding. I could talk about story structure for hours and hours, but I had to show some mercy on the great crowd that showed up. With many beginning writers in the audience, we spent a good amount of time talking about the most basic building blocks of story. Because I’m a teacher by trade, I can’t help but make organizers, handouts, and other concrete tools to help teach a concept. By far, people were the most excited about the character section of the workshop. We talked about the big questions you need to answer about your characters and how to use the answers to shape a compelling story. For this, I developed the Getting to Know a Character worksheet, which was a blend of my own questions and ideas from Storyfix.com. I gave out envelopes with children’s book characters and settings, and each attendee came up with a character using the worksheet. We also discussed different ideas about story structure. In a two hour workshop, it’s hard to discuss something as massive as story structure. After all, look at the hundreds of thick books on the subject! So I FLEW through the big milestones, then gave them another worksheet – Story Milestones – to start plotting a story. I think it was a little much to get through in the workshop, but most people seemed to like the general idea of structure. In any case, please feel free to use these, and feel free to share as long as you leave the link at the bottom. Thanks and enjoy!...

Back Again

Well, life has been quite…eventful since my last few posts. Some very good, some very bad, but all things that kept me away from the writing life unfortunately. However, I’ve realized something quite exciting; my first book will be published in six months! Phantom Touch YAY! Everything is still “TBA” or “Coming Soon,” but it’s really really official now. So it’s time to start thinking about how in the world to bribe, entice, coerce, strongarm, and otherwise persuade folks to read my book. More to come soon! On another note, I’m considering a massive rewrite/reboot on my urban fantasy series. I spent just over a year querying it. Several partial requests, several full requests, but all ultimately ended in rejection. And that’s okay. It needs some work, and I’m not sure whether it needs a bit of renovation or a total rebuild. It’s stylistically sound, but I’ve consistently heard that the pacing is slow. I have some ideas that will definitely make it a tighter and quicker story, but I’m not one hundred percent sure yet. In either case, I’m temporarily taking down materials related to the Immortal Codex until I decide where it’s going. In the meantime, I’m finishing up another YA novel tentatively entitled Lullaby. I’m excited to finish it so I can start revising with some of the ideas that cropped up as I worked through the first draft. Anyway – more to come soon!...