Devising a storyboard

Putting it on computer gives you the freedom to alter it at will although it does help if the plan is in constant view in storyboard or chart form while you are working. Some authors use wipe-clean boards or self-adhesive notelets which can be moved around and discarded when necessary, whilst others prefer a large sheet of white paper, drafting the plan out in pencil, colour coding, erasing or crossing out items where necessary.

Whichever method you select, once you have a plan to which you can work, it is much easier to slot in the plot changes


Sally returns to flat to find Mark in foul temper. She says their affair is over, has met Nick. Ends with Mark's attempt to rape her.

Chap 2

Sally fights Mark off and he leaves. Later in bed is woken by phone. It's Nick. Mark has attacked him. He comes over. Love scene. Doorbell rings. Police. Mark is dead, killed by blow from paperweight from Sally's office desk.

Chap 3

Insufficient evidence to hold Sally. In office, papers re drugs story she was working on are missing. She hears noise, sees Nick rifling through Mark's desk and finding file. Confronts him, his story is lame, distracts him. Ends with her grabbing file and running.

Chap 4

Sally on Channel Tunnel train. Thinks she sees Nick but it is a lookalike. Relaxes, studies file, find links with both Mark and Nick. Ends with her leaving train unaware she is being followed.

Chap 5

At mother's house in France. Claude behaving strangely. Sophie looks pale and ill. Sally discovers Claude searching her things. They argue. She decides to return to UK. Ends with her seeing Nick in garden with Sophie.

Chap 6

Sally confronts Nick. Did he murder Mark? He swears his innocence. Says he was working on drugs case for rival news station. Love scene. Ends with Sally waking to find Nick, Sophie and file have all disappeared.

Chap 7

Sally returns to UK and studio. Checks computer, finds contact address in drugs case. Breaks in but is captured. Recognises major drugs baron. Ends with Nick arriving, revealed as gang member.

Chap 8

Sally in locked room. Hears scuffle outside. Sophie high on drugs pushed in, door locked. Sophie confesses she is a 'mule' (carrier) for the drugs baron. She is terrified of someone. Ends with failed escape attempt.

Chap 9

Sophie suffering withdrawal. Door opens, it is Claude, followed Sophie. Rescues girls but insists unsafe to go to police. They return to Sally's fat. Ends with her discovering it ransacked.


Sally begs Claude to call police. He refuses. She tries to call an ambulance for Sophie but he says he will get a doctor. Ends with Sophie trying to warn Sally about something but before she can name names, Nick arrives.

Chap 11

Nick agitated. Grabs Sally, she grapples with him, manages to escape, runs straight into Claude who brings her back inside. He confronts Nick, both men accuse each other.


Which man can Sally trust? She appears to choose Claude but he gives himself away by telling her how Mark was killed (couldn't know this). Fight. Nick saves them - reveals he is detective working undercover. Ends with promise of romance.

Fig. 8. Outline for crime novel.

Fig. 8. Outline for crime novel.

when and where they occur and build up a visual picture of the completed novel.

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