Where to Begin


There are several different ways to brainstorm such as:
  • Lists 
  • Free writing 
  • Bubble mapping or mind mapping 
Use the one that best helps you generate ideas for you story. Brainstorming first will save a lot of time. 

Helpful online resources:

https://bubbl.us/ (online bubble mapping website)
http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newISS_01.htm (a detailed look at brainstorming and mind mapping)


After brainstorming some ideas, the next step is to put the pen to paper and get to work on the script. The script is where the story lives. Things to remember when writing are:
  • Block out any negative inner dialogue to avoid writers block. 
  • Start with a dramatic question to guide the story. 
  • Write a script no longer than 1-2 pages 
  • Don’t overly describe; let the images speak those words. 
  • Use an interesting hook to immediately grab the viewer’s attention. 
  • Read aloud while writing to hear what the story will sound like when narrated. 
  • Conclude by making sure the guiding question has been answered. 
  • Leave the viewer with something to ponder or take away.


With completed script in hand, the next step is creating a storyboard. A storyboard is a visual representation of the production process combining the narration, images, soundtrack, and transitions or editing effects used in each frame or scene.

Storyboarding saves time by planning ahead. It helps to fine tune the script by evaluating what will work well with the images and what might not be needed. It also helps evaluate the images needed to illustrate the story.

There are sample storyboards at the end of this manual for you to practice on. However, if you prefer to storyboard digitally, there is a link below to a Microsoft Word tutorial on how storyboard on your own computer. Google Docs are free web-based MS Office like programs that are another great tool for digital storyboarding.

Digital Storyboards

Microsoft Word http://digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu/pdfs/inword.pdf
Google Docs http://docs.google.com/

Things to remember when storyboarding 

  • Aim for 1-2 lines of dialogue per image. 
  • Limit yourself to ten images to start. 
  • Carefully consider using captions on the images to assist with details. 
  • Don’t be redundant. Show what you are not saying and say what you are not showing.