Thursday, March 27, 2014

Story Sketching

This is probably an adjunct to storyboards. In much the same way as an artist creates a pencil sketch of a scene to capture some general layout and then, using his paints to capture details, add fullness and unique character, in the same way writers can capture story sketches and came back later to fill in the details.

Here are the sketches: 

Write down as many as you can immediately think of:

  • Facial characteristics (cut on face, smile, beaming eyes, uni-brow, hair color)
  • Body characteristics (walk with limp, hunch-backed, )
  • Personality traits (speech accent or lisp/stutter, fluid speaker, bubbly, sullen/gloomy)
  • Good things that happen
  • Sad, discouraging things that happen
  • Tramatic things that happen
  • Enlightenments, Personal Growths

Make a list of the characters in the story. (You will come back later and write in some of their physical and personality traits. This may even develop during the writing of the story.)

How will you tell you the story? How will you reveal the characters? Besides acting as the narrator and saying that John was this, that or the other, you could also allow the audience (reader) to come to that conclusion by allowing the reader to observe how John reacts given a certain circumstance and setting. How do the characters interact with one another? How do they react to stimulae, both good and bad?

What are the consequences, outcomes, etc.? What are the events in character(s)' life (lives)? What is their "journey" through the storyline?

On a piece of paper, draw a line across the page. This is your timeline. Mark the events across the timeline. The timeline may only be an hour, a day, or may be longer like a week, month, year or decades.  Will your timeline span more than one book?

You have several vehicles open to you to reveal each characters traits. You can do it in the first person, wherein the character themself says "I like that" or, "this is my opinion." You can do it the 2nd person by having the narrator explain traits, "Her eyes always glazed over when..." Or you could have flashbacks, daydreams and such reveal things about a person. You can even do it in the 3rd person, so to speak, by having another character in the story speak about the first character, "Jane leaned over to Jim and whispered in a strained voice, 'I think our son is in love with Christine.'"

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