Build Your Story Like a Boss PART 2: Crush Story Mapping | Hannie Clark | Skillshare

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Build Your Story Like a Boss PART 2: Crush Story Mapping

teacher avatar Hannie Clark, Author and Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Welcome!

    • 2. What is Story Mapping?

    • 3. Supplies: Optional and Interchangeable

    • 4. Story Mapping: It's All About Credibility

    • 5. Story Mapping Assignment

    • 6. Storymapping Bonus 480

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About This Class

Story Mapping is the next class in my novel writing series: "Build Your Story Like a Boss". Mapping out your story is a great way to take your story from the Basic Story Structure stage into a more comprehensive and layered stage. It allows you to get a firm grasp on, not just your main protagonist's plot, but multiple plots and themes that when layered create a rich and sophisticated foundation for your story.

Learning to use Story Mapping enhances your ability to create credibility with your reader. When you understand your stories foundation in the way that Story Mapping enables you to, you become a true expert on the world you are inviting your readers to enjoy. This is huge when it comes to building a loyal audience!

Story Mapping also allows you to strategically build tension throughout your story using storytelling tools. Tension is what propels your reader toward your climax. Escalate! Escalate! Escalate! When this is expertly done, it will give your readers the endorphin rush that will keep them returning to your work, again and again, searching for the same experience.

Crushing Story Mapping is your next step toward building a killer story like a Boss!

Meet Your Teacher

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Hannie Clark

Author and Artist


Hi there, and welcome to my profile page! I'm Hannie Clark. I am an author and a 3D floral artist, as well as the co-creator of The Flower letters: Stories Told Through Letters, a snail mail subscription story telling experience. I love being creative and am very excited to share my skills with you here on Skillshare!

I graduated with a Bachelor's in English lit in 2005 and immediately began my writing journey when I started writing my first novel. Two novels later in 2015, I decided to add a new dream to the mix and began pursuing art and illustration. I've written and illustrated three children's books since, and sell original art pieces in between through my Instagram account @HannieClarkCreative

In 2020, my husband and I decided t... See full profile

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1. Welcome!: way to my story like a boss writing skills. My name is Hannah L. Clark. In the writing world, I'm also known as Handy Clark in the Art World. I am the author of two novels have adult fantasy novels and also the author and illustrator of three Children's books. I've been invited to speak about writing to various universities and great schools and high schools and also two other writing groups with my peers, and I'm really excited to be here on Skill Shirt to share with you my record skills in my writing process. So before I get started on talking about this next step in and how I create or build my story, I wanted to go ahead and give a shout out to those of you who are just joining me here on skill share. In this writing, Siri's and I highly recommend that you go and watch the first installment of this writing Siri's build your story like a boss master basic story structure. Everything we're gonna be doing in this course is building on that foundation, and so if you if you don't have a good foundation of that, this is kind of not be as effective for you. So please go back and view that and then come enjoyment because what I've got to share with you today is good stuff. 2. What is Story Mapping?: so story mapping when his story mapping story mapping is pretty much just what it sounds like. Story mapping is a visual map of your story. What it's supposed to look like, what it's supposed to do. It's kind of brilliance. It's the Frost Triangle, but more in depth. Um, I use this as the next step in my outlining process. It just helps me go from that basic furrows triangle structure to something more in depth that I can then go and build on as I go on to finish the outline that I'm going to be using , as I do the actual writing of my book. So story mapping is taking, particularly between the inciting incident and the climax on really fleshing out that middle ground all those trifle cycles. And it's also a great place to work in her story, telling tools that really help you kind of beef up the attention in your story I will be sharing a few of those at the end of this course is a bonus. Storytelling tools are great to kind of. It's like a formulaic way to really, really increase the tension and increase the stakes. Freighter protagonist and also for your rope. You're either in a little bit more to invest a little bit more in your characters When I strip for started story mapping. I was in the beginning process of writing a second book in my fantasy. Siri's The Couple, That Series and the first book Waas kind of. I talked about it a little bit in my last course. It was kind of a nightmare, too, right, because I started out as I talked about in my last course as a gardener. And then, thankfully, I found out that I am not a gardener storyteller. I am an architect, storytelling. And so, going through that first process of writing my first novel, where it was really painful, really frustrating Teoh this new way of looking at a story building it kind of from the ground up, and I'm putting in a whole lot of, uh, work in the beginning so that the ending is much more satisfying and much more enjoyable, really kind of took fruit came to fruition through this story mapping process. The reason why I started to story mapping is because this was my calm about Siri's isn't seven books, Siri's and I have known from before, but one was published. What was going to happen in Book seven? I had all the details mapped out, and I really put a lot of time in kind of creating the story before I ever even really started writing a book one and definitely before I started reading, too, because I didn't feel comfortable moving on in the series until I had most of those, especially the major details fleshed out before I moved on, because I didn't want to write myself into a corner. But the problem was doing that is that I I It was very easy for me to get confused because I had so many details, so many storylines going on that when I would try and, like, really focus on writing book to, I was just overwhelmed. And so what I decided to do is kind of created this. This visual met off just this one book for myself, so that whenever I started to get a little confused, I could just look at this map. Anyone tell me exactly where I was exactly what was going on, and then I could proceed from there, and it really helped me a lot. So I'm gonna show you what that looks like, What it means to story, Matt and I hope that it becomes a really valuable tool in your own arsenal of writing skills. Because I feel like the more work and the more thought you put into the pre writing process , the smoother and more enjoyable that ending the the actual writing of the book is. And we don't want that because creating should be joyful. I should be worked. But it should also be joyful and as joyful as possible. So stick with me. I'll see you in the next segment, and we will start talking about what you'll need to stream app and, uh see. 3. Supplies: Optional and Interchangeable: Okay. Welcome back. Now, before I get started in showing you what materials I used to story map, I just assure you that I am certain there are other, more technologically sophisticated ways of doing this. This is just my way of doing it. Because in a lot of ways, I'm still technologically illiterate. So if you could take what I'm about to show you when translated into some kind of great software or spreadsheet kind of a way to do it, absolutely do it. I think that's a wonderful idea. And and I didn't Even if you find a simpler way, whatever works better for you taking this concept and adapting it. I am all for that because I think that your process needs to work for you. Mrs. Processes what works for me. So please translate what I'm about to show you into whatever will work for you. So Okay, so what? I used to stream app first, I used some form of butcher paper. This is this is just a roll of paper packing paper that I get from target for pretty inexpensive. I think it's like to 99 or something. I used tape and ruin just regular Scotch. T. Then I use multicolored markers on pins, thes air. I got both the marker, the large Sharpie marker and the very fine pin, and I try to get them in correlating colors because the color coding was important in this . Then I also use various sizes of sticky notes. I've got the little baby ones. I've got the regular calm, pretty common size, and then I also have the big, big ones. And I use all these different sizes just for putting in different details, and I try and get them in similar colors. If I If I can't get a wonderful police and regular colors, then I will just use white and and focus on making sure that the colors of the pensions work for me by keeping everything consistent. So that's what you will need, and I will see you guys in the next segment, where I will show you exactly what I mean by story mapping. So we'll see you guys 4. Story Mapping: It's All About Credibility: Welcome back, guys. So what I have behind me is the actual story map from my second book in my Venice Young Adult Fantasy Adventure series. I spent a lot of time on this as you could probably do with all of the tape of the sticky notes. But it totally paid off. I was able to go and outline my books so much more smoothly. And then the actual writing process was so enjoyable because I had already worked out all the kinks beforehand and was just able to focus on making the right and great as I told the story. So let me explain to you what I've got going on here. You could probably see the Coral Triangle happening and care got the beginning of the inciting incident right out here. And then we've got this rising action that we've got the climax moment here and then we've got the data model resolutions. Now there's a lot more than that going on, as you can see with the sticky notes, what I have done and why I feel that story mapping is such a valuable tool is because it allows you to map out not just the main story plot of your story. But any main characters Indian additional maintain characters. Besides your protagonist, there's a story on their journey throughout the story. What's going on with them as well as any other additional plots? They're important to supporting the main plot. So what I have here is all the purple notes that you see are all for my protectionist. All the blue are the secondary character secondary protagonist. All of the Dark Blue are another supporting character. All of the yellow are the villain. And then many of these other colors are just other story plus that I needed to know about writer while I was writing the main story. So what? Why is this such a valuable thing? Is because, um when you know everything that's going on in your story and given about 50 to 60% of this did not even end up in my final book. But knowing it is what makes you as the writer come across to your readers as someone that the reader can trust, you let them know that you are an expert on the world that you were inviting them to come in and enjoy Wiki so that that is a huge deal to a reader is knowing that they can trust you as as the writer, to take them on a great journey in a world that that you fully understand Now. The other thing that is great about story maps is not only does it allow you to map out all the additional plots that that support that main plot, but it also allows you to put in the storytelling tools that I talked about earlier. For example, right around here I have what's called a time bomb, and I will talk about that another time out here I got to the exit people, which I also talk about in the bonus segment of this course and then also, it allows me to see how the themes in my overall story are cyclical, or what I mean is that the beginning, what's introduced in the beginning has everything to do what happens in the end that there is a circular coherency to your whole work and that as well and is an important part of building credibility with your reader. It also allows you to make sure that your story is proportioned properly. For example, You know, I learned throughout my many different writing courses for many different great authors that you're beginning. Understory is really where you're spending 75% or 70% of your time. Your middle is more of a 10% sort of the time, and then your end is 20%. Where you take your climax and your datum allies is 20% of your story. So making sure that your story is properly proportioned is also really important, because then your readers not getting bored or getting, you know, overwhelmed with detail or just just those those things that usually kill a story aren't happening because you are in control and you are skilled in the way that you are laying that story out for them. The other thing I do is I add a key to kind of keep everything straight still. So right here I got the main plot about the romance plot about the guy, the guy character. He's all mapped out, the building character all mapped out. The side kick is all mapped out, and then, since it's a fantasy, I also have the power element of the story all mapped out, and that really helped me a lot in writing a really, really rich world as well as story for my readers to enjoy. So what these little plateaus are, as I have, It's all the rising action. When I talked, talked, talked about your story Map is focusing mainly on what happens from the inciting incident. The climax I was I was serious and and what I mean by that is that within your rising action, like we talked about in my last class, there are trying fell cycles, and those trifle cycles are really important part of building the tension in your story for your readers. And they're what keeps you a reader coming back for more is that that tension that continues to build into continues to build and continues to build. And then, of course, by the time we have a climax, there's a sufficient enough amount of attention that when everything is finally resolved, they get that relief that endorsed endorphin release. That is what really keeps them coming back to your stories for Morris. They want to feel that same endorphin rush again and again and again, and all of that is engineered in your try feel cycles. No, I talked about in the last class that you should have anywhere from 3 to 5 of these trifle cycles happening within your rising action, because any less and it's not satisfying enough anymore, and it's too frustrating. So I find it very helpful and really important to map out those trifle cycles to make sure that I have enough, but not too many. And so you'll see here. These plateaus are This is the first raising action, the first try feel cycle. And then there's some down time to give your reader kind of a break and also your characters a break. And then we have back into another rising action or another try feels like and then again hit. We hit another plateau where there's kind of some down time, a little bit more story building or world building, whatever you whatever kind of a story you're writing. That's where you take care of some of those details. And then, of course, you're gonna go back into the rising action again for another trifle cycle. Now each of your characters and story plots were going to have their own set of trifle cycles or their own set of rising action. And so I like to build all that end so that I know what's happening to my other characters , along with what's going on at the same time as what's happening to my main character. That allows me to really built a through and fleshed out story. Because even though your reader is not going to maybe witnessed these details happening to your other characters and your other in other story lines, eventually whether it be through character development or some other way, eventually those details were going to be important to this main plot that's going through your story. Eventually, it will be important to you reader in some way, whether it be direct or indirect. So knowing those things is hugely beneficial for building credibility with your reader. The other thing that I really like to do when I'm building a story map is I like to build in what I talked about earlier, which are the storytelling tools. And these storytelling tools are focused mainly on building tension because you want to escalate, escalate, escalate. That's what you hear over and over and over again in the writing world, if you're if you're wanting to build tension. You got escalate, the stakes escalate, mistakes escalate mistakes. And that is all done through those trifle cycles. But you can also use the's story telling tools to help you, uh, create that tension, and I'm going to be talking about those in the very last segment of this class. 5. Story Mapping Assignment: Okay, So the assignment for this class is not for you to create and post your own story map, but for you to take a picture of yourself, creating your own story map, and post that I know that as writers, we kind of like to keep the details close to our our hearts and until we're ready to release the final product. So I don't want you to feel in any way like you need to do that. But I would love to have a picture posted of you creating your own story, whether it's technologically created or whether you do it kind of the hands on creation, the way that I've done it here with you. But just just let us know that you are using this tool on. And I hope that it is really helping you build your story like, um, us. So thank you so much for spending your time with me here today. I know there are so many amazing courses here on skill share that you could be spending your time with, but thank you so much for choosing mine. I hope that if you enjoy this course and if it is been a benefit for you and your writing that you leave me a positive review. That really helps me out a lot for other writers looking for courses like this, that to help them find it. I hope that you'll also stay tuned for my other courses in this series. I got several more plant and to help you continue to build your story like a bus, so I will see you guys next time. If you have any question, additional questions about story mapping, please feel free to contact me. Either share in the classroom or check out my other social media platforms, where you can leave comments or ask questions or check out other things that I've done. That would be awesome as well. And I'd love to connect with you there. So thanks for stopping by and we will see you in the next class. 6. Storymapping Bonus 480: Hey, you guys, welcome to the bonus segment of my course on story mapping. In this segment, I'm going to share a few little story telling tools with you that have really been a great way to build tension in my own stories. And, of course, that I learned from other great writers as well. So I am going to be using my notes. Go then I wanna forget anything, and I hope that you will take these bits of information about these that I give you and go on research. You mind your own and really see how you can incorporate them into your own writing because they're great tools. So the 1st 1 that I wanted to share with you is it's called the X of evil, and what the acceptable is is. It's kind of this idea of the evil in your story, how it will travel through your story and also how that evil traveling through your story will build that tension. But let's say I want you to picture a picture, an hourglass, and let's say, at the top of the hour glass or the beginning of your story, you have se. In that point of your story. Evil is far away. So whatever is threatening, your protagonist is far away. Um, not in their present world. Then let's say you travel closer to the middle of your story, and at that point your protagonist realizes that they're in a zone of both good and evil. It's it's kind of a mix that's going on around them, say they've taken a journey and they found themselves in the middle of both goodness and evil. Now at the bottom of the hour glass or at the climax of your story. That's when or right before the clacks of your story is when your protagonist realizes that evil is within themselves, that they have to conquer their own demons in order to save the world over or, you know, get through the climax of that make sense to conquer all that is a storytelling tool using that kind of evils far away evils all around me, Evil is inside me kind of tool. It's it builds tension because it becomes more escalated, your escalating. What's going on with the practice, your escalating attention, the next one is dilemma. So what dilemma is is that your protagonist is asked to choose between either to equally horrible fates or two equally wonderful face. They just they have to choose between one or the other. But they're both equally off one emotion that creates a lot of tension. So saying a romance, You have a girl who's looking at two guys, and they're both wonderful under both incredible. And if she chooses one, she's gonna break the heart of the other. And vice versa. That dilemma that builds tension on. Then, of course, you know, on the opposite spectrum you have the horrible choosing between the two horrible things. Another tool is tripling. Tripling is, is this idea of foreshadowing? Then it's happening. And then it's haunting. So an example that I would give you is Let's let's take a romance again, a romance concept again and say for the foreshadowing. She is dreaming about the guy she's thinking about. He's asked her out on a date, and she's excited and she's thinking about how it's gonna go and is really excited. That happening is when he shows up at the door and they go when they have a great time and it was awesome. And then the haunting is her remembering, say they've broken up, and she's remembering the good time that they had. That's troubling. That builds attention. It it builds a form of tension in a romance, which was, it was just got kind of anticipation. This next one is time bombs. What a time bomb is is exactly what it sounds like. You were putting a timeline on when your protagonist needs to get something done or needs to achieve something or needs to tracked down something that's that's a time bomb. It builds tension because there's there's a time limit that they have to get it done with him. The next one is a crucible, and what a crucible is is. It's crystal is used for melting things at a really high heat. And so with a crucible. If you put saying, put frenemies or enemies into a situation where they have to learn how to work together, that creates tension because they have to. When it starts out, you're like, Oh, no, this is horrible. There are the reader is like, Oh, no, this is horrible. They have to figure out how to work together and they hate each other in this guy's portable and you know, how are they gonna make this happen? But as you go through this crucible, there's this tension is pushing them forward into figuring out how to work together and then by the and they become frenemies or something. Eso crucible. You can have a romantic crucible where this guy in this girl, they hate each other, end up getting stuck on a island somewhere, and they have to figure out early fall in love. There you. So that's a crucible. There's also the crucible of relationships Is that like you can't get out of our relationship? There's the crucible of that that you it's either a religious or a family or a societal organization, the mob military, but that they're stuck in that situation and the journey is them figuring out how to get out of that? They have to get out of it. Um, so that creates tension on the next One is the reveal. The reveal is like a betrayal. When the protagonist discovers that they've been betrayed, that's that's the reveal or that they are. Then they have to deal with that. So the key to that is, don't make it feel to orchestrated but that builds tension of the other way to do. The reveal is when you allow your reader to know that that your protagonist has been portrayed. But your protagonist doesn't know yet. And that builds tension because the whole time your reader knows and they're just waiting there. Just watching your antagonise go through this relationship with this betray ER, and the reader knows the whole time and so that builds tension as well at the next one is, of course, plot twists on, and that's pretty much they're going throughout the story. And you, the reader thinks the story's going one way, and then all of a sudden you twist it on and it changes suddenly. So there's lots of there's lots of different kinds of twists. There's an emotional twist where you can go from romance horror, or you can go from humor to her or wonder and beauty toe. Or so there's those you just kind of take a genre or a new emotion and twisted for the for the reader. And then, of course, there's the intellectual twists where there's a moment of sparkling clarity that all the sudden twists to utter and complete confusion So those are some of the storytelling tools for building tension that I've told you about throughout this course. I hope you will research the more help you learn to recognize them in the works of the great writers that we get to read all the time and really study how to use them Well, because those are really going to help you build great tension in your story. And of course, as we've learned through this course, is that that tension is key to creating that endorphin release by the climax of your story that gives that reader the endorphin release, that they want to continue discovering over and over and over again. And they will continue discovering it over and over again in your works. And that's how you build an audience. And that's how you maintain on him. Thank you so much for watching my course. I hope that you will check out my other courses on sculpture. I got to art courses and also the previous storytelling course for this, which is build your story like a bus master basic story structure, hopefully already seen that before you started this course. But if not, go check it out. So thank you so much for taking the time to be with me. And I hope I see you guys in my next class.