In order to get my students to think about moving from writing small, disparate, individual things toward big, unified, linked things, I've been having them use a technique I call "reverse storyboarding."
|Aubrie Cox used a mobile to create a three-dimensional grid |
in order to talk about the structure of A Visit from the Goon Squad.
|John Bahler used butcher paper to chart |
the character subplots in Mrs. Bridge.
|Tyler Petty created a website to create a chronological timeline for each character in A Visit from the Goon Squad. Find it at http://goonsquadtimelines.weebly.com/|
|Heather Gemmen Wilson used corkboard.me to keep track of every time Mrs. Bridge |
said she'd do something--but didn't do it. Obviously, this happened a lot.
|Kat Greene used Prezi to re-shuffle the stories in Winesburg, Ohio.|
|For Linda Taylor, the tornado scene in Mrs. Bridge |
became a way to organize the different vignettes in the book--tornadic-ally!
|Stacye Cline used CDs that looked like albums to talk about |
the circular structure of A Visit from the Goon Squad.
(My apologies to Josh Flynn and Katie Iniech, who presented on Please Don't Come Back from the Moon the night that my camera/phone was on the fritz. I'll get their reverse storyboards up later!)
I found these presentations fascinating, and I think my students learned a lot about linking from this process of unlinking, relinking, reshuffling, rebuilding, straightening, unstraightening, charting, color coding, encapsulating--which forced them to notice things they might have missed otherwise.
Now, they are getting ready to workshop their own linked stories, and they're not reverse storyboarding anymore. They're charting their own course now.