When novel writing, it’s sometimes easy to forget what your characters look like, especially if you’re like me and can only make weekly appointments to work on it. My workspace is also relatively small considering all of the other things I write and that take up my time.

After a storyboarding workshop the winter before last, I decided to create a visual profiles board to assist me with my novel writing. I had already written character sketches and found images online of people who I thought looked like my characters, so it was just a matter of copying them and old-school cutting and pasting.

The result is the board you see on the right side in this photo. With pictures of my characters (and other key items like my characters’ home) attached to a piece of foam core, I could tuck the board away and pull it out when working on my novel. When I was done, I stashed them back out of the way, keeping my space tidy and organized.

I also made a board to plot out the evidence to weave in as I wrote the mystery portions of the novel. I printed the outline/list descriptions of what I planned to include in each chapter. I then cut them apart and glued them to a piece of foam core with enough space for small sticky notes to go between. I wrote the evidence pointing to the actual murderer (no spoilers here) on one color of post it, evidence pointing to the character who I wanted the reader to think was the murderer on another, and evidence pointing to someone else on another color.

At the point when I’d done the storyboards, I was writing one chapter each week. So when I wrote, I looked at the chapter description, wrote the scenes, and weaved in the evidence bits. Within several weeks, the novel’s first draft was completed and my mystery elements were all included.

Have you used a storyboard when writing your novel (or other book)? I’d love to hear about it. Just type them into the comments section below.

Want to find out more about the book that was written with the above methods, Taming the Twisted, and about my other titles? Click here to visit my author website at www.jodietoohey.com.