Friday, November 14, 2014

Character Cards--A Cool Way to Enhance Your Storyboard (and Story!)

Three elements are essential to all books, no matter the genre:  there must be conflict, there must be believable character (real or imagined), and there must be place, or atmosphere.  Characters are fun to work with.  Even if you're writing a real-life tale with people who existed in history or as your potential readers, you need to know them.  The reader depends on you to present your characters well.

Tracy Sayre, founder of Writers Work, runs writing conferences in New York City and the Catskills, among other location.  Tracy recently watched several of my youtube videos and designed a very unique W storyboard using character cards.  She said she watched the storyboarding video many times while writing her novel and came up with this version of the traditional storyboard.  The photos below show her character cards and how she places them on the storyboard as the characters enter her story.


The character cards help her "think of the actor who would play my characters in the movie version," she says.  "I make cards with their pictures and a list of the character's gestures, fears, goals, and other helpful info to keep in mind. I place the cards on the storyboard in the moments that the character first appears."

She says this helps her be certain that important characters aren't brought up too late in the plot--a very good piece of advice to all writers.

Tracy's next writer's retreat can be seen here, if you'd like to spend four days writing and learning this winter.  She'll give a discount to anyone who mentions this blog post.

You can watch all my videos on storyboarding, container (setting), and other tips for writers here.

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