Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Storyboarding

Posted by: Sonya Clark
When I first tried Pinterest, I tried to use it in the same manner I saw others using it. That didn't last long. Collecting recipes, cleaning and household organization tips, and crafting ideas was so very not for me. I mean, there's nothing wrong with any of those things, but I know who I am and where my strengths lie. If I tried doing some of that stuff, my results would wind up like something from Pinterest Fails. It took a while but I finally found something to do with the site that is useful for me as a writer. I started making storyboards.

Images from story locations or that match the fictional setting. The closest I can find to what the characters look like in my head. Videos of songs from the story's writing playlist. Any sort of image that fits the story, the mood, the characters and settings. It's the digital version of clipping photos from magazines and pinning them to a corkboard on the wall by your writing desk or saving them in a folder. I've done that and much prefer the digital method.

As an example, I'll use the storyboard for my Magic Born series. There's a lot here from Deviant Art, which is a fantastic place to find images and many of them have the handy red and white pin button to make things easier. For this board, the images are a mix of magic, the futuristic setting, a few casting pics of the characters, and other things that are lifted directly from Trancehack or its work-in-progress follow-up. Plus a lot of music, because that's just how I write. I find this helpful because it's a good way to gather various things that inspire the story, things that help me immerse myself back into that particular world if I've been away from it to work on something else or just take a break. To be honest, I don't really know if this is something readers would like to see. If any potential readers did take a look at this board, I think it would give them a pretty good idea of what the book is like.

I follow some other writers who use either all or some of their boards as storyboards or inspiration boards. Juliana Haygert has all kinds of great stuff on various writing-related boards. Ana Blaze has some terrific boards for both her published and work-in-progress books. Stacy Gail has a number of what she calls "Building a Book" boards that I think do a great job of showcasing her inspiration. My newest favorite pinner is Barbara J. Hancock, whose boards for her forthcoming Gothic novellas make me want to read every one of them.

I've got some other storyboards, including one for my dream book that I haven't even started yet. And, okay, yes, I have a few other kinds of boards now. My eye candy board is a nice distraction when I'm stuck with a plot problem. Some pics of David Gandy were added the other night when I had to take a break from beating my head against the laptop screen over a manuscript. I'm starting to use Pinterest more for fun, but I do still think of it primarily as another writing tool. It may not work for every writer, but it is definitely working for me.

Have you tried Pinterest? Do you use it for fun, work, or both? Do you think that seeing an author's storyboard might interest you in a book?

Sonya Clark writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Her next release, Trancehack, will be out on October 28. Visit her website at www.sonyaclark.net and follow her on Pinterest

8 comments:

  1. Aww...I feel like a celebrity. :) Nice post. I love Pinterest. It's great for storyboards and to read lists. I also pin recipes and house decorating ideas.

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    1. Yeah, I tried all that and it was too much. I've got maybe ten pins of that kind of stuff. Using it for storyboards has proved really useful, though.

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  2. Thank you for the shout out!
    I'm a pinterest addict =P
    I have boards for EVERYTHING lol

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    1. You're welcome! You've got so much great stuff on your boards, I had to link to you. :)

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  3. I'm so late to the Pinterest party! I noticed an author I follow on Twitter using it a lot. ( http://pinterest.com/maiseyyates/ ) And I thought it sounded like a fantastic idea for storyboarding. My desktop was getting pretty crowded with files. Now, I'm putting everything on Pinterest boards and I LOVE it.

    Thank you so much for the shout out, Sonya...

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    1. You're welcome! You may be new to it but your boards are terrific. They're a great example of showcasing the mood and atmosphere of a story.

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  4. Ooh I use Pinterest for this purpose too! I have one for each of my three novels:

    Worldsharers: http://www.pinterest.com/wanderingsylph/worldsharers/

    The Sungirl King and the Moon Queen:
    http://www.pinterest.com/wanderingsylph/the-sungirl-king-and-the-moon-queen/

    Tangled Roots and Throned Ones: http://www.pinterest.com/wanderingsylph/tangled-roots-and-throned-ones/

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  5. I love Pinterest and I think it's a great medium for writers. I myself use to share my blog posts on yet another site, but I also have some other book related boards and even one where I pin recipes, pictures of cute animals or pinguins.

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