Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Pre-Production: Films Say Storyboard, Books Say Outline

Pre-production. To me, this is a film term adopted by multiple industries. I knew the details of pre-production in certain circles but not in filming. Because I like to pretend I'm smart, I looked up the details. Gods bless Google, I now know more than I meant to. All of the pre-production checklists--all of the decent lists at least--had "Lock Your Script" as the starting point.


Okay, okay, okay, that's near the end of the process for us. But they did have line-items that meshed fairly well with the author-verse. Things like: Know Your Budget, Write the Production Schedule, Hire Your Crew, Cast the Show, Find and Secure Your Locations, and Complete Storyboards.

Strangely enough, that's pretty much what I do before I stare at the very blank page of Chapter One.

Budgeting: How much can I spend on cover art, editing, formatting, ISBNs, copyright filing, and marketing? The length of the book is often determined by the funds I have to pay the editors.

Production Schedule: When do I want to release the book? How many days before that do I need to lock-in the final file(s) with assorted distributors? How much lead time do I give ARC Reviewers & Street Teams? How many days does my formatter need? Proofreader? Copy-editor? Dev Editor? Artist?

Hire Your Crew: All those people from the production schedule need to be booked well in advance. I prefer a minimum 90-day lead; though, some artists and editors need to be contacted 6 months out.

Cast The Show: By the time I think "hey, this might make a good book" I've had many, many, many conversations with the protagonist about their plight, their scooby-crew, their most exhilarating/debilitating moments. I always cast more people than I really need, but, hey, that's what edits are for.

Find & Secure Your Locations: The couch hasn't gone anywhere in twelve years. However, before I start writing, I declutter and clean the house. Physical clutter is a distraction and I am too easily distracted when I write. Cleaning is necessary because once I start writing, the level of tidiness is on a constant decline.

Complete The Storyboards: Since I'm a plotter, this would be the outline phase for me. Outlining often explodes into full-on story writing, so...yeeeeah, this is the very, very last step of pre-production for me.