How to Create an Outline or Storyboard for Your Book

Photo by Ana Tavares

Have you ever had trouble organizing your thoughts into a story?

It’s important to take the time to create an outline or storyboard. This step will make your life SO much easier! It ensures your story makes sense and captures your readers. It also makes writing MUCH easier, since you’ll have a guide to keep you on track.
I’m editing a memoir right now and found some great references I’d like to share with you, to help you get started.
First, watch this video. It’s older and the writing on her board isn’t great but trust me – it’s still worth the watch and you’ll learn some important points!

I highly recommend you take a moment to read through this blog post by Cheryl Suchors. She shares her own process using this “W” storyboard concept. Here’s the simple way she describes it:

“Essentially, there are five key points: the triggering event that gets the action rolling down toward the second point, a conflict or complication that gets worked through to create a rising action; the third turn which sends the action spiraling downward to the fourth point, the lowest point of the book, from which the action ascends to the fifth point or conclusion. These five points shape, in effect, a capital W.”

She also challenges you to consider these aspects of your story to make it more powerful:

  1. Order of Events
    Should your story be chronological or jump around?
  2. Storyboarding
    Organizing your story to create tension and solve a problem.
  3. Sectioning
    Should your story be broken into sections to help the reader?
  4. Tense
    Which tense should you write in: present or past… or both?
  5. Time
    Should you add flashbacks or jump ahead in time?

Are you writing a memoir?

If so, definitely read this:
Memoir’s Primary Argument–How to Make Sure Your Memoir Has Universal Meaning

And this: The Key Elements of Writing a Good Memoir

Did something in the video or the other posts I mentioned jump out for you as helpful? Do you have any other insights or ideas which help you to write? Please comment below – I’d love to hear what works for you!