It’s a Symphony, Not a Cacophony

Here’s what my bulletin board looked like once I completed the five steps of deconstruction:

the whole shebang

Don’t let that apparent chaos fool you; if you had labored to build it, you would find it quick and easy to “read” this map at a glance. No, seriously! 🙂

To help you see the structural symphony in the apparent cacophony of dramaturgical bits and bytes, take a look at this instructional overlay:


  • The larger cards running along the top of the board is essentially a breakdown into bullet points of the story summary that preceded this process. Each of these larger cards represents the build up to each successive plot point.
  • As noted at the bottom of the diagram, the entire board represents the forward progression of the story from left to right, with Act I to the left, Act II in the center, and Act III to the right. The placement of each index card on the board roughly identifies where along the storyline that particular element would need to be revealed.
  • Each color-coded card in the main area of the bulletin board identifies a unique story “beat” or element. At this stage in the cork board layout, topically similar cards are grouped to form a color-coded horizontal thread arranged chronologically in the order each part of each thread would need to be revealed as the story progresses.
  • The first index card in each color-coded thread is a summary card, concisely identifying why that thread needs to be in the story, which characters are represented in that thread, and how that thread needs to develop along the story timeline.

So… does that help? If you have questions or suggestions, please reply using the “leave a reply” field below.

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