How to Master the Art of Storyboarding Your Novel

Novel writing can be as challenging as astrophysics or baking the perfect sourdough bread. But fear not! There’s good news: storyboarding can make the writing process easier and help you create a well-structured storyline. This post will guide you through the art of storyboarding your novel, whether you’re a blogger, short story author, or a creator of graphic novels and comic books.

What Exactly is a Storyboard?

Storyboarding is a technique that allows you to visualize the storyline of your novel. Originating in the film industry, storyboards were initially used by Hollywood’s finest to plan the structure of their feature films. A storyboard consists of a series of drawings with accompanying text, each detailing a specific plot point. Don’t worry if you’re not a great artist – simple stick figures will do just fine.

The Benefits of Storyboarding Your Novel

Many fiction writers have embraced storyboarding as a valuable tool for brainstorming their novels, and it’s easy to see why. Just like having Google Maps on a road trip, storyboarding provides a clear direction and helps you reach your destination faster. By knowing where your story is headed and identifying all the crucial plot points along the way, you can write more efficiently.

Of course, writing is not always a linear process, and unexpected surprises may arise. Your characters may take unexpected turns, like deciding to become a Scientologist when you least expect it. However, the old saying “best-laid plans” reminds us that even with surprises, storyboarding can still provide an essential roadmap.

The Plotters vs. Pantsers Debate

When it comes to writing, there are two camps: the plotters and the pantsers. Pantsers fly by the seat of their pants, diving into their stories with only a hint of an idea and seeing where it takes them. Plotters, on the other hand, meticulously plan out their story structure before writing a single word. We happen to be plotters and believe that everyone can benefit from a little bit of plotting.

1. Storyboard Your Novel’s Outline

If you already have a solid grasp of your story’s main plot points, it’s a good idea to start by storyboarding the entire outline. Create a frame for each chapter and outline what happens in each one. You can even include drawings to further visualize your ideas.

1.1. Set up Your Storyboard

To get started, head to your Boords dashboard. Click on “New project” and name it after your novel. Then, create a new storyboard with the same name. Now you’re ready to dive in!

1.2. Customize Your Fields

Organize your novel by creating custom fields in Boords. We recommend starting with fields for Character, Theme, and Subplot. You can also add custom icons to enhance the visual organization.

1.3. Add a Frame for Each Chapter

Label each frame with the corresponding chapter and add as many frames as you need. Storyboarding the entire outline gives you a bird’s-eye view of your story, helping you see the big plot points and the resolution. Feel free to rearrange the frames to improve the flow or build tension.

1.4. Color Coding (Optional)

Consider color coding your subplots, characters, or themes. This visual technique gives you a clear overview of each element’s presence in your story. Adjusting the color scheme can help you identify if a subplot appears too frequently or not enough, allowing you to fine-tune the balance and impact of each storyline.

2. Storyboard a Single Chapter

If you have an idea for an exciting character-building event in a specific chapter but haven’t planned the entire plot yet, you can start storyboarding that scene first. This allows you to get the wheels of storyboarding in motion and tackle the remaining chapters later.

2.1. Set up Your Storyboard

To begin, head back to your Boords dashboard and create a new project named after your novel. Name this storyboard “Chapter One” and let your creativity flow.

2.2. Customize Your Storyboard

Add each plot point from the chapter as a label on a card. Don’t worry about the sound or action fields for now. Create a card for each plot point and rearrange them until you’re satisfied with the flow of your chapter.

2.3. Add Images (Optional)

If visualizing your story with images helps you, go ahead and add them. You can drag and drop your own images or choose from the image library provided. Images can bring your scenes to life and enhance your overall storytelling experience.

Storyboard Your Novel with Boords

Forget about clunky storyboard templates; Boords provides a simple and powerful solution for storyboarding your novel. It’s the perfect tool for bloggers, short story authors, and creators of graphic novels and comic books – in short, for everyone who writes! Visit to try Boords for free and take your storytelling to new heights. Who knows, one day you might find yourself on the bestseller lists!