Tag Archives: Christyne Butler

The art of Storyboarding…

On Saturday, my New Hampshire chapter of RWA was given a treat: our chapter President, Christyne Butler, gave us a masterclass on storyboarding. What is storyboarding? I am so happy you asked.

Typically used in visual media, a storyboard is defined as such: a sequence of drawings, typically with some directions and dialogue, representing the shots planned for a movie or television production. This helps the film people plot the story, frame by frame, sequence by sequence.

But writers use storyboarding as well.

Most books are comprised of chapters, scenes within chapters, and actions within scenes. Instead of framing the novel action by scene by chapter, writers approach the storyboard a different way. Christyne showed us her way, which is how her characters are plotted out. She boards each individual character and things that might pertain to him/her when she starts to write. She has a complete visual reference for the entire book at her fingertips when she begins to write her story. She must be doing something right because she is a multi-published, very popular author!

Now, when I plot a new story it looks something like this:

dashboard2 dashboard

I write everything out longhand once I find pictures of my  characters. I fill entire composition books with pictures, descriptions, motivations, and backstory. It takes a while, but so far it has worked for me. With Christyne’s method – a more visual one – it seemed like it was worth a try, so I did it. Here’s where I’m at after 2 days: ( those are my feet in the bottom of the photo – damn crop app didn’t work!

dashboard3

This is a three book arc. My heroines are on the left side of the board, my heroes on the right. Just from viewing this I can see I know a whole bunch more about my girls than my boys!! SO right away, this has become a valuable tool for me. Since I am character driven, I have pictures of my peeps, their bedrooms ( I always want to imagine where they sleep!), things about their careers – quotes or pictures of occupations, and the colors on their individual blocks are foils for one another. For instance, the top is black and white because those two love interests perceive everything emotionally in shades of black and white – no gray. My goal is to get them to the gray! I love assigning colors to characters because I think of them in shades of colors. It’s hard sometimes to explain how my brain works, but the black and white instance is the easiest way for me to get you to understand how I envision people/characters.

This is all after 2 days. I’m hoping ( wishing?praying?) to have it done this weekend. I’ve already written two chapters, but I feel as if now I’ll know my characters much better when I write the rest.

So, if you’re a writer, do you storyboard? Write out everything in longhand? Fly by the seat of your pants? What? let’s discuss……

New release 3 WISHES (A Candy Hearts Romance)perf5.000x8.000.indd

Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her 30th birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

Get it here: Amazon //  The Wild Rose Press // Nook//  Kobo //

Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me //Pin Me//Friend Me// Google+Me//

 

 

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Candy Hearts, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Literary characters, New Hampshire, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Tips from the Pros

Last Saturday  I attended my monthly NHRWA meeting in Bow. The “featured speakers” that day were all members of our chapter who have had publishing success either traditionally with print publishers, or by self publishing their work. The round table discussion was a very informative one for me and the chapter.  Some of, but not all, the speakers included, Christyne Bulter, Susan A. Wall, Nora De Luc, and Maggie McGinnis.  This was a varied mixing of authors and styles, but they all had one thing in common: They were published authors, some of them many times over.

My take away knowledge from their discussion of their writing paths was that each writer has to decide for herself what she is hoping to accomplish with publication. For the self pub’ed writers, it was more of a sense of writing and marketing control that guided them towards that route. They wanted the final say in things such as distribution of their work, art design, publicity, and ultimately, the control of the monies earned from their sales. The traditional pub’ed writers were happy to give over those jobs such as worrying about cover designs, editing, publicity and distribution to the “professionals” and concentrating on what they loved doing most: writing.

I can easily see both sides of this literary coin, even though I have opted to try and fit into the traditional side of it.  I’ve opted to try and be published via the book route that arrives on shelves and flies into your hands to find its way to your home because, I’ll be honest,  I’m lazy. I enjoy writing. It is to me the oxygen that keeps me alive. I would rather be writing than doing almost anything else. Most days, anyway. If I had to worry about  the formatting font and type needed to upload a book on Amazon, or tracking my sales ( assuming I had any!) , or the licensing and regulations necessary for this to happen, and even the cover design, book jacket blurb, complete self editing, line copy and content-wise, and them having to promote the work myself, I think I wouldn’t like writing as much as I do. I don’t mind having other people who know what they are doing, well, do that, for me.

Having said that, the women I know who have self published their work are dynamos at all of this and I am eternally envious of that. They are organized, focused, determined and talented women who have opted to be in total control of their careers, and my hat is off to them. I  know myself too well to know that I could never be as dedicated, methodical,  structured and regulated as they are. Not to mention, they are a talented bunch of writers.

So, whether we are self published, traditionally published, or not published at all, it is good to know we have options as far as the routes we want to take our careers through. The New Hampshire arm of the RWA is a wonderful mix of talented, spirited, informative writers who make it a joy for me to come to every meeting. You can check out their website at:  NHRWA and maybe catch us at the next meeting. This is a very welcoming, supportive, and encouraging group of romance writers, and women, in general.

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Filed under New Hampshire, NHRWA, Romance, RWA