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Storyboard Examples

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A couple of days ago, I wrote about using visuals for creating my characters and getting inspiration for scenes. I wanted to share the storyboards I’ve been working on for Ransome’s Honor to give an example of what I’m talking about. Each image includes a background of the setting as well as major characters who have named/active appearances in the scene.

Chapter One—In the first half of the chapter, which takes place on HMS Alexandra, we meet captain William Ransome, several of his crew, and the Northrops, whom he must transport from Yarmouth to Portsmouth. In the second half, at her family’s townhouse in Portsmouth, we meet Julia Witherington and her father, Admiral Sir Edward Witherington

Chapter Two—William stops in to see his best friend and learns that he is still at sea. He does visit with his friend’s wife, Mrs. Susan Yates. That same evening, Julia, her father, and mother attend a card party where she meets Admiral and Mrs. Hinds. Later that evening at home, she gets nostalgic over letters from her twin brother lost at sea almost fifteen years before.

Chapter Three—William returns to the Alexandra and informs his officers they will be on leave for a month while the ship is refit so they can then go to Jamaica. The next morning, after taking care of some household business, Julia pays a visit to her dear friend, Susan Yates. While there, the man Julia despises most in the world, William Ransome, arrives.

I have storyboarded through the chapters I’ve written, and in the process cast several minor characters (such as Fawkes, and all three Northrops), and because of that was able to go back and tweak the narrative descriptions of them to make them more specific. Here’s a link to a (huge) file that comprises the detailed storyboards for chapters 1-20. (Sorry if it takes a while to load–the server where it’s saved is unusually slow!)


  1. Anonymous permalink
    Sunday, October 15, 2006 4:38 pm

    These are fascinating. How long does it take you to make up a story board?


  2. Kaye Dacus permalink
    Sunday, October 15, 2006 7:01 pm

    Because I’d already collected most of these images–the characters and the backgrounds–they didn’t take too long. This is what I do when I don’t feel like writing: collect images and play with them!


  3. GeorgianaD permalink
    Monday, October 16, 2006 11:31 pm

    WOW! I’m impressed! Does your story play in your head while you write? If so, I’ll bet it helps move things along.


  4. Kaye Dacus permalink
    Monday, October 16, 2006 11:47 pm

    You know, it really does–when I write, I can see the action happening just like a movie or play. When I’m not writing put trying to motivate myself to write, I engage in “active daydreaming”–I conjure up the setting and the characters and basically play Barbies (or paper dolls) in my head until the scene starts to take shape!


  5. Jennifer permalink
    Tuesday, October 17, 2006 8:05 am

    Fascinating. I’ve never done that…but the collecting of images to represent each scene is cool.

    I have images of 1900 orphanges and newspaper clippings…I have 4 x 6 print of them in a binder…so when I lack a description or need some inspiration I’ll flip through that.

    I’ve never given my characters an actual ‘face’ like you did.

    Very neat though.


  6. Wednesday, January 21, 2009 11:53 pm

    Hey…can you tell I’m reading through the writing index again?

    I have the pictures of Elizabeth, her uncle and the other main characters, and pictures of clothes and her uncle’s house…but I’ve never actually set them up scene by scene like a storyboard. I think I’ll try that. Thanks!


  7. Monday, September 14, 2009 5:25 pm

    I have two projects underway and find I am ‘blocked’
    One of the projects has at least 12 chapters ‘done’ (if they can ever truly be done!).
    Do you feel that storyboarding the existing chapters might help me to continue the story?
    I have an idea how the story ends, but find that the story needs fleshing out and I’m not sure how to do that.


    • Monday, September 14, 2009 5:27 pm

      I find it helps me, because it’s not only exercising a different part of my creativity, but it forces me to go back and get back into the story from the beginning. As I go back and re-read it so that I can do the storyboards, I’ll oftentimes pick up on little tidbits that I either hadn’t realized I’d included or that I included, meaning to follow up on them later, and then forgot about. It’s usually those little things that help me reignite the inspiration to continue writing.



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