mcgilh

I am a newcomer to PB, using it to construct a novel. I understand there are quite a few other writers (fiction, non-fiction, technical, playwright ???) using the software. If that is so, would any of you like to start a thread where we can share tips, problems, recommendations etc. relating to the the functionality of PB as a writer's tool? Of course, Everyone using PB must have discovered wonderful ways to use this software that could enhance a writing project, and I'd be grateful to learn from all of you.

Forgive me if there is a site somewhere already filling that void, and please forward any and all links
Thanks for your interest.

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sammydix

I see that you asked this question like 2 weeks ago, but i just joined today (11.1.07) and saw it. I'm a writer which is precisely what i plan to use the Brain for. Here's what I've done so far for my novel template:

I began with the obvious Parents--ACTS I, II, & III. Each ACT has Chapter children, and each Chapter has Scene children (however many scenes are in a particular chapter). I also have Parents called Characters with personality children (hobbies, likes/dislikes, good/bad traits, etc.); one for each main character. Moving on, I have Jumps to Quick Notes, Ideas, Vocabulary, Odd Creatures, Weird Foliage, etc. The Brain lets me go crazy!!! With everything a mouse click away! MindJet 7 cost me a small fortune and i barely use it any more (too much scrolling and not the "compactness" of the Brain). I know PerBrain can't import from everything, but mindjet is pretty majorly popular and that would be a fantastic feature. Speaking of which, I also have Software thoughts for novels and short stories with too many 'already done' ideas to transfer to the Brain. I just Jump link to Mindjet, MyBase, Keynote, etc. Anyway, you have an idea of how i use the program and i hope i sparked some off for you. See ya.

By the way, to answer your question, yes, i would be interested in such a sub-forum.

Sam

Samuel L. Dixon
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mlapointe
I have one Brain that I use to run my ad agency, and a separate Brain for my novel. I'm in the polishing stages of my current project, so my book-Brain is pretty big and complex.

I have many of the same or similar categories as Sam, plus a few others: Settings, Scenes to Change, Maybes (a nice place to experiment with solutions for specific problems), Progress (to keep track of where I am in overall editing, and where I am with my writer's group), and Timelines. Because my story has a particular historical, political, and geographical context, I also have a large section for research, with each Thought linked as needed to story Thoughts), and a bibliography. Obviously, I've pinned the working manuscript.

Although I use Personal Brain even more on my paying job, I originally found it when I was desperately searching for a way to organize materials for a historical novel. I'd tried paper (I know! Scary!), MS One Note (not bad, but hard to organize and search with a lot of notes) an Access database (also ok, but falls down on the job when you need to store and access images), and even, in desperation, a large, elaborately hyperlinked Acrobat file.  Sometimes I import the images into Notes, but it's often just as convenient to attach a jpg to a Thought and blow it up on rollover.

M. LaPointe

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jostber
Here is a blog entry from the writer Angela Booth ,  who uses  Personal Brain:

http://copywriter.typepad.com/copywriter/2007/06/unique-writers-.html
TheBrain 8.0.2.2 Slackware 14.2 KDE 4.10.3 Java 1.8 / (Windows 7)
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sammydix

Thanks for the info, jostber. I found the articles on procrastination especially useful. When I write, i enjoy it; it's just getting started that's my prob.

Samuel L. Dixon
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tcahill
One source who wrote about using PB for writing can be located here:.

Technically speaking, I did not find that his method worked for me, but he does have some valuable insights....

Cheers
Be vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbit.
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hanque
I'm a writer and I just started playing with TheBrian and I think it will be very helpful in developing a story.  However, I'm not sure how I can best use it.  I'm trying a few different approaches.  I'm using it to design a novella (or possibly a novel). I have also built short story model (or template).  I have a short story idea that has defied all attempts to get a believable plot for several years.  I intend to brainstorm this sucker using the template.  I also want to brainstorm a completely different short story design starting with a blank brain (not using the template).  This is because, after I built the template, I had a thought that I might be forcing too much rigidity into the brainstorming process.
As it stands right now, I don't know if the template is restrictive or simply a bunch of containers to organize my thoughts better than using a blank screen

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jester1966de
Has anyone of you worked out how to organize a time-line for a plot? I think of something that offers a sequential approach but can be re-organized easily.
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tcahill
jester1966de wrote:
Has anyone of you worked out how to organize a time-line for a plot? I think of something that offers a sequential approach but can be re-organized easily.


What if you used the calendar? Assume each thought/note occurs in a specific time period in a time sequence you are structuring. So, set earlier thoughts to have calendar events prior to later thoughts. They will display in the events view sequentially.

I found a small bug when I played with this just now. Initially, when I was changing the date of events, the date would change on a different event than the one I was editing. All of the events in question were past due (my computer has been down) but when I had updated all of the events to a current date, they were able to be edited properly.
Be vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbit.
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jester1966de
I'm rather thinking of historical dates and of story- and plot-lines... thus, the calendar would not be the right tool IMO.

Thanks for the hint, anyway!

Jester

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zenrain
Besides using the obvious parent > child relationship, you may also try creating thought types.
For example, you could have a thought type of 1800-1810 with a parent thought type of timeline.
Or create thought types for each major phase of your story.
The limiting factor of this is there is only one thought type per thought, so you couldn't have multiple types per thought. For example, if you chose 1800-1810, you couldn't then type it as Scene 1.
Just random thoughts.

Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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JRP
I'm new to TB, as well, but can see the possibilities for mapping out fiction and non-fiction projects. Quick question: Does anyone here use TB in conjunction with Scrivener? If so, have you found it useful? Redundant either way? It seems as if TB lends itself more readily to getting a visual understanding of your story in a way that the index card function in Scrivener doesn't. I can see using TB for the initial mapping and then Scrivener for reducing to a tighter outline and actually writing. Any thoughts?
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zenrain
For those that may be unfamiliar, Scrivener is a Mac application, not available in Windows.

A very very, good writing Mac app I may add...



Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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mcgilh

Has anyone come up with a good visual timeline mechanism yet?

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