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Be a Better Writer—Compose a Story Outline with Drawings

Uncle Mike August 16, 2017

Are you struggling to write your next great story? Learn how to outline a story using drawings.

 

In my previous blogs I have discussed how to create a story and make characters through pictures. I have also mentioned outlines as a great way to organize ideas. Now, I am going to tackle the challenge of outlining a story with drawings. I want to share to you how creating a story outline with drawings is a great tool for writing your book, especially if you are a visual person.

story outline

When you outline a story with drawings (a.k.a. storyboarding), you will be able to see your entire book in front of you, making it easier for you to make changes to the flow of your book. This will change the way you look at outlining because your story outline becomes a visual tool. When writing a story outline with drawings, you will be able to see how the characters and scenes relate.

 

How to write a story outline using drawings

You can use a poster board, a notebook, a word processor on your computer, etc. Just choose the method you are most comfortable with. You then need to create a pattern or system to outline the chapters of your book. On a poster board, for instance, you will create a system of vertical and horizontal lines where each square represents a chapter in your book. If you are using a notebook, you may want to make each page represent a chapter/event in your book.

story outline

Next, organize the events that you want to include in your book. This will show you what you need to fill in to complete your story or if there’s a need to make changes. You may already have drawings on hand for your story, or you may have to draw them as you go. In my book Saddle Sore, I had a lot of drawings on hand. In other books, I had to make special drawings as I created my outline. Consider using color-coded post-it notes or index cards for each of your drawings; this will make it easier to move things around if you so choose. The different colors can represent different characters, scenes, ideas, or events.  Be sure to write a description or summary of each drawing on the cards. Once you have decided on the order of your chapters/events, you can begin writing your book.

story outline

Using drawings to outline your story makes writing way more fun, especially for visual learners. If you have struggled with writing a typical story outline in the past, I encourage you to try writing a story outline using drawings. You don’t have to be a great artist, you just have to be able to visualize your thoughts and put them on paper. I invite you to read my books Quasar and Saddle Sore and see how I applied my drawings in those creations.

 

Have you ever written an outline with drawings? If so, I would love to hear about your experience in the comments below, or we can discuss it on FacebookTwitter, or Goodreads.

 

References

Phillips, Jade. December 1, 2012. “Outlining and Storyboarding Your Novel.” Jade Phillips (blog). Accessed August 9, 2017. https://jademphillips.com/2012/12/01/outlining-and-storyboarding-your-novel/.

Sheahan, Kyra. n.d. “How to Storyboard a Book.” The Pen & The Pad. Accessed August 9, 2017. http://penandthepad.com/storyboard-tween-book-2179092.html.

“Fiction Writing Plot Development Storyboards.” Iconoclastic Writer. Accessed August 9, 2017.  http://iconoclasticwriter.com/fiction-writing-plot-development-storyboards/.

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