March Story Wall Experience (Sam)

Thanks to all who participated and in my story wall and special thanks to Tim for recording the session. A lot gets covered in these sessions and it is hard to write down or remember all the good ideas. For my story wall I covered my entire series, the BarnYard Heroes. There are seven books in the series about a group of barnyard animals who have been given superhero powers by a space aliens who’s project gets canceled by his company which fallen on hard times.

I was concerned this might be too ambitious for a story wall session, but there were a number of issues I was struggling with in regards to the series as a whole and until I get those resolved it’s difficult to address issues in the individual novels. Trying to cover this large amount of material highlights what I found to be one of the keys to story walling, which is to keep your material concise. Provide a brief overview of the story (or in my case stories) and get to the issue you are struggling with as quickly as possible. This is your time to get help with the parts you most concerned about.

What I prepared was one sheet on each novel in the series which contained:

  • short synopsis of novel (40 to 60 words)
  • description of lead BarnYard Hero in the novel
  • description of the villain(s)
  • Photos representing the BarnYard Heroes and villains

I then cut up the sheets to separate the synopsis and characters so we could move characters and stories around.

My main concerns were:

  • a lack of a common story line or thread throughout the series
  • the order of the novels with one novel in particular which did not seem to fit in good anywhere.

The team provided a lot of good ideas and suggestions which I am still mulling over slowly. The next big step is to take all of these ideas and make some decisions. What might be a good is to have people a recap of what changes or decisions they made based on the feedback they received from their story wall.