mcgilh
Is anyone using a fiction writing software program in conjunction with, or, along-side PB? My Brain is called: Novel. From Novel stem eight children/categories:
  • lists
  • theme
  • setting
  • characters
  • conflict
  • devises
  • points of view
  • time-line
Attached to these categories are about 1000 thoughts, and growing. Through the patterns and connections of all these thoughts, the story is forming. I'm ready for some kind of fiction-writing software. In the Feature Suggestion forum, I've asked what to look for, if I want a program that can be integrated with PB by use of attachments, like we have with Word,excel, etc.

http://forums.thebrain.com/tool/post/thebrain/vpost?id=2353565  So far, they're saying to look for a file-based software, rather than a data-based. I will appreciate any thoughts you may have on great writing programs you may be running within PB, or, just along side of it. Here is a list of some of the programs I'm planning to research. Your thoughts and/or experiences will be greatly appreciated.

Dramatica

StoryView

Movie Magic Screenwriter

Storybase

Power Structure

FictionMaster

WritePro

Writer’s Block

LyX

Super Notecard

 

 

 

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newguy

I am using PowerWriter for writing (I like the layout and the tree-structure view of Chapters/plot points which you can drag and drop to change order) and StoryLines for an index card system on which to do timelines.  (Even if I never finish the darn book, at least it looks good on screen! )

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agnor
Check into Literary Machine--it might seem too PB-like (since it involves associations, as well), but it's also meant to help you organize the random, associated thoughts into a more linear order, and then export it into one document.

There's a free version (windows-only, I think), so you don't loose much by investigating it.

Also,  see this document on the idea of constructing texts using Personal Brain.  It's old at this point (circa 2002, I think?) but the ideas within might help you out.

http://radio.weblogs.com/0111745/2002/12/18.html#a40

The link you want is called "Rapid Text Construction" at the very end of the entry.

http://radio.weblogs.com/0111745/stories/2002/12/15/v1.2%20Building%20Texts%20Faster%20(Acrobat)%2015-12-2002.pdf

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agnor
Also, it's not official novel-writing software, but you can look at:

http://www.treepad.com/

too.


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Darkstar
I've used Literary Machine for some smaller works. It was quite nice.

If you like treepad, I'd suggest you check out WikidPad at http://www.jhorman.org/wikidPad It's free and open-sourced, is well featured, and the developer is responsive to his user community. I've used WikidPad for several years, and am currently experimenting with it for some smaller works.
-Darkstar
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hanque
I currently use Avenir but it's only for Mac's.  I'm in the process of writing a novel and it's ability to integrate all sorts of info is amazing and extremely helpful.  Any notes or references I have collected are only a clcik or two away and there is no need to open other programs or files
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mcgilh
Thanks for all the suggestions so far. I'm looking at them all. I'm a Windows user, but searching about Avenir leads me to some other great ideas.
My assumption is that your application is in Template to use as attachment. When you open the attachment, it gives you the ability to access the complete narrative when needed, as well as the file specific to the individual thought.

 My  question is: How do you use these applications in conjunction with PB?

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hanque
I use PB as a brainstorming tool. When I get enough material, characters, ideas, etc I move to Avenir and populate the characters, plots, scenes etc. from my PB  files.  Avenir isn't really a template or an attachment.  The program keeps the the whole set of notes, scenes, characters etc on screen and only a click away.  Very useful while writing a scene and you need to refresh your memory about a character's clothes or description
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mcgilh
I feel I'm writing my book in the "note" screen.  It would be great if you could just replace "notes"  window with a writing program screen. It seems too cumbersome to have to have a program running outside of my brain, when everything is there, linked in PB. Is that a crazy pipe dream, or is it worth putting that into a request? I'm so naive. I think these PB guys can do anything.

Or, maybe I should learn how to transition all my brain into something like wikidpad that could provide connectivity of ideas, like PB does. I just love the way PB has organized my material. aughhhhhhh. I'm so frustrated. Instead of writing, all I'm doing is looking for a program that can do it all for me. I must be out of my mind. I want to write a book, as if it were a technical project, rather than a work of art. Why can't it be both? Am I missing something. You guys mentioned programs, like PowerWriter, but didn't explain your process. Could you be more specific as to the mechanisms you have in place, how you've put all this together into an efficient, integrated, creative way?


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agnor
Quote:
It would be great if you could just replace "notes"  window with a writing program screen. It seems too cumbersome to have to have a program running outside of my brain, when everything is there, linked in PB.


This is the reason that people here suggested "file-based" software--the files can exist within PB, in all their interlinked goodness, and you can still pop them open with Word or a processor of your choice.

See the "Rapid text construction" file that I linked to get an idea.  I'll write a summary of the ideas here to see where they can help you.

Within all of your brainstorming, notes, and so forth, once you begin writing the actual text, you should have a collection of thoughts, each with the prose attached for that chapter/section/etc, and each linked to the others in a sort of linear form to show the flow of narration.  You'll want the text as an attachment, and not just pasted into the notes.  This way, it can be integrated within your brain and interlinked, but it also exists as a discrete file on your hard drive.  What you can then do with this (as I remember reading in the PDF I linked;  it's been a while) is tell Word or another program to insert the text from a file.  Use PB's "open containing folder" feature to get the path to your attachment, and bingo, you've inserted text from your PB thought's attachment into another Word document.

You would then rinse and repeat until you have all the text complied in one document.

The bigger idea is that, in theory, you would edit the *attached* file only (in PB), and the changes you make there would show up in the other compiled document where you did the file insertion.  Whether this is possible or not would depend greatly on the program you're using to do the "insert file contents" stuff, and will take a bit of experimentation.

Hopefully this makes sense--I'm still in the process of getting my morning (almost afternoon, now) coffee.
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agnor
As you've also already mentioned, I would caution against spending too much time organizing your notes or trying to find the perfect solution.  It's so easy to keep working on that stuff instead of doing the actual writing  
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mcgilh
Agnor, I'm really struggling to understand everything you have kindly offered regarding rapid text construction. Many of the references in "Rapid Text Construction" seem above my skill level. I am making a concerted effort to understand the  directions, and I think it will take me a month at least.  It took me quite a while to find PB. And it was well worth the front end work. I won't start writing my narrative, until I have put my system in place. I don't want to  put major effort into writing, and then find out there is a more effective system I must switch to.  I will try not to be a terrible pest. Just wish someone could sit on my shoulder, and take me thru it, step by step. I hate Word 2007, and am hoping there is some other software I can use, instead of it. Do you think any of the software mentioned in this thread could be used instead? Till I wrap my mind around each detail of rapid text construction, I won't understand how to test programs to see if they will work in place of Word.  Could you suggest any? Also, what is PB's "open containing folder"? I can't find a reference in the 4.0 user manual  or forum searches.
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lunatrix
I am a newbie of little understanding so take this with a grain of salt but it seems to me you should be able to open any of the programs mentioned from within PB - I thought that was the point of linking to documents etc in PB: they open in their own application, whether that is word or some nifty authors program.
And I think 'open containing folder' is just a way of getting at your external files - it opens the folder on your hard drive that contains the file you are linked to and then you can do whatever you want with it.
But please ignore this if it seems to be way off track as it probably is! Anyway good luck with your novel - I sympathise with the problem of feeling you are spending so long getting set up you arent actually progressing with the task in hand!
Cheers
Helen


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mcgilh
Thanks, Helen. I am keeping all my files within PB, and not on my hard drive. So, I guess the phrase open containing folder doesn't apply?
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agnor
mcgilh,

The basic idea behind the Rapid Text Construction stuff is that you insert the contents of your PB attachment into the word processor document, in hopes that any changes to the PB attachment are already reflected in the word processor document the next time you open it.  As I said in my post, I don't know how well that would work with the current versions of all software involved, and I've been meaning to test it myself.  I'll let everyone know what I find when I do.

I'm sure that you can write your novel with any of the software mentioned in this thread. 

As word processors go, instead of Word, try Open Office (http://www.openoffice.org) if you're on Windows/Linux or Star Office if you're on Mac.  You might find you like it better.

You could use any of the software mentioned in this thread to write, or you can just use a text editor of some kind (there are a ton out there on the internet, and many, if not all of them, better than Notepad), so that you can concentrate on writing instead of on formatting the text.  Each file can be a chapter or portion of a chapter and inserted/linked into your PB accordingly.

I would just caution you about spending too much time trying to find the perfect solution.  Just decide on something that you think might work, and go for it.  After all, the time you spend fiddling with software is time that you could spend writing, instead.
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