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English: How to storyboard your digital narrative

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English: How to storyboard your digital narrative

You’ve got your big idea – now to put it into action!

Storyboarding is one of those steps in the process of crafting a narrative where it’s possible to do too much and not enough. Basically, you’re building yourself a blueprint for what the story will eventually look like, before you create the finished product. Here’s some stuff about that.

Break it all down

Before you create your narrative, you have to split it into parts. Think about comics – you have to decide what belongs in which panel. But in your case, it’s more than just words and pictures, because you’re also considering how to use music, speech and visual effects. Breaking your story into chunks helps you think about what fits where. Do you want to open with a bang, or build to a big finish?

Not all chunks are equal

You have six photos and three minutes – does this mean every photo should be on screen for 30 seconds? Naaaahhhhh. Some images will be more important than others. Some will be accompanied by a voice-over that goes longer than others. When you’re storyboarding, think about the flow of your narrative, and how you want to tell it, instead of giving equal weight to each element.

Don’t feel you have to use the kitchen sink…

In some people’s Instagram stories, it’s wall-to-wall filters, geotags, temperature reports, captions and comically placed emojis. In others, you might not see any of this stuff. When you’re storyboarding, think about the tools at your disposal, and the best ways to use them. Don’t feel like you have to have music in your narrative because other people do.

…or feel trapped into following it

The creative process is often full of surprises, both good and bad. If something doesn’t work, don’t stress. Similarly, if you have a way better idea while you’re actually putting the project together, it’s okay to revise your storyboard. On the other hand, at some point you have to lock down what your’e doing and saying – as the old cliche goes, “Perfect is the enemy of done.” *nods wisely*

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