A few days ago, I sat down to write. It was a pretty cool scene, at least the way I outlined it. However, as I sat down and began to put words onto the screen, it started to wind it’s way into a straggly thread and I started to lose the flow of events.
The solution? Storyboarding.
Now, this wasn’t the kind of storyboarding like they do for movies and TV. Believe me, I only wish I had the artistic ability to draw anything even close to that. Instead, I used a flowchart. I just charted the direction I wanted the action to go, and filled in details around each piece of action.
This gave me the basic flow, and where the action would happen. The paper itself becomes the time axis, and that way I can make sure not only of the flow of action, but also that everything happens in the appropriate time.
Did it help? Yes. Granted, I deviated from the plan a bit, but frankly, that’s become an expected thing. As much as I plot the whole book out scene-by-scene, each scene evolves and grows (or shrinks) as I write it. Nevertheless, I found graphically plotting out the sequence of events worked wonders in enhancing my scene descriptions. I have a feeling I’ll use this technique more and more, especially for complicated battle scenes. I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up using action figures or RPG miniatures to help block out a scene.