Story Outlining Part 1

Wow, 2 posts in less than a week? Things must be returning to somewhat normal again, at least in the short term. So like I promised last week I wanted to share a little more in depth about my workflow in terms of story writing and how that leads into storyboarding. The first thing is this is reflective of my workflow, maybe there are things you can take from it and maybe there isn’t. I actually really enjoy seeing how other people work and seeing if there is anything I can take from their workflow.

 

Before we get started, during this discussion I was having with a friend, I realized that fundamentally our stories were very different. Cosmic Rage at is core is an action/ fighting story where there will be lots of visuals and such to progress the story. The characters will evolve over time based mostly on events that have happened. Where as my friends story revolves more upon character relationships and some heavy dialogue. This was something that took a little while for me to discover as we were discussing out ideas.

 

Regardless, I wanted to do a breakdown of my process since I am continuously writing future sagas/arcs/stories for Cosmic Rage. Let’s begin with a new story for instance, and in this example we will start with a standalone story, so we won’t be writing to set up a next story arc or anything like that. We will leave that for a later entry.

 

The premise of our short story will be that a little boy is having a good day and decides to get ice cream, and on the way to the ice cream shop he learns a valuable lesson. So I start writing my stories out in numbered sections with the intent that each point is a visual or 2 and I also write a quick memo underneath that would suggest dialogue.

 

-1-

Boy wakes up from sleep (visual)

Ice cream would taste awesome right now (dialogue/ character thought)

 

As I continue to flesh out the story, I need to fill in the remaining plot lines. These would entail the stories climax and the stories resolution. For the sake of the outline we will say the plot of the story will be about the boy learning to share. So my outline would look like…

 

-1-

Boy wakes up from sleep (visual)

Ice cream would taste awesome right now (dialogue/ character thought)

 

Boy meets Girl (stories climax)

Boy gets ice cream and shares with Girl  (stories resolution)

 

So now that we have our core story outline, we can now go in and fill in more details. Notice how I didn’t put numbers by the climax or resolution, this is because at this point I don’t have a specific number of shots or visuals. Now lets say that on the way to the ice cream store the boy hears a group of kids and decides to check it out. Now our outline would look like.

 

-1-

Boy wakes up from sleep (visual)

Ice cream would taste awesome right now (dialogue/ character thought)

 

 

Boy hears voices of other kids

Boy meets Girl (stories climax)

Boy gets ice cream and shares with Girl  (stories resolution)

 

Since there is a gap between the Boy waking up and hearing the other kids, we have room to add another shot or 2 if we want depending on the pacing of the story we want from a creative standpoint. Personally, I show characters leaving and entering new spaces so the audience knows what space and area they are in. Now our story looks like…

 

 

-1-

Boy wakes up from sleep (visual)

Ice cream would taste awesome right now (dialogue/ character thought)

 

-2-

Boy leaves house counting his ice cream money

Boy whistles his favorite ice cream commercial jingle

 

-3-

Boy walks down the street

Boy continues whistling

 

-4-

Boy hears voices of other kids

Maybe more kids want to get ice cream

 

Boy meets Girl (stories climax)

Boy gets ice cream and shares with Girl  (stories resolution)

 

We now have the the initial beginning of our story completed. Although, the great thing about typing out an outline first, you can go in and alter things if you change your mind or thing another solution will work better for the story. We will pick up on this later this week! Have a great week!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s