I've been taking an editing course as some of you may recall and my third class is tomorrow. Lots to learn from the editing side of things, but what I want to share with you is something called storyboard conferencing.
The basic gist of this is to have an author lay out their novel in a chapter by chapter summary, hitting on the plot points and any major information. Each chapter summary should be no more than a small paragraph to begin with. So a 30 chapter book will take up something like 6 pages or there abouts.
As the class needed someone to volunteer their material for this portion of the course, I said I would do it. I outlined my paranormal romance novel and then fleshed out each chapter, working with the teacher on smoothing out the sentences and making the whole piece flow better. (It looks suspiciously like a synopsis to me but I refuse to call it that.)
After this, the other students will have the piece sent to them and then we will all come back next week and they will have suggestions on how to make the plot better and the characters and story more believable. Cool huh? Apparently this is how things are done in many publishing houses, you have a conference with several editors and work out the kinks in your story BEFORE you write it. Freaking genius if you ask me. (This from the seat of your pants type of writer that I am.)
I was sad that not all of us get this opportunity and then I had a thought. Why not? With the group of on-line writers that I've met, I don't see why a few couldn't get together and help each other BEFORE they even write their next great masterpiece. Of course the storyboard conference can be done after a manuscript is written, but there is more difficulty in that if you cut something there has been a lot of time put into it.
For those of you interested in doing some of this storyboard conferencing, hold tight and I'll tell you my final thoughts next weekend, after the results of the class. But I think that it's safe to say that this idea has definite merit, don't you?