tefnut: (Default)
I've been stumbling upon a very neat site while researching writing exercises.

Simon Haynes is a sci-fi author, and he provides tips and tools on his website.

The first one is FreeMind, an open-source mind-mapping software:
It's like having an infinite whiteboard with marker pens that don't stink and give you headaches. Bliss. I enjoy using it to go from broad ideas to accurate details without going bonkers in the process. It's also nice to explore different hypothesis, organise the plot, and so on.

My only beef so far is that it doesn't do hyperlinks, so when I paste a reference to a document on the web, I can't just click on the link to go back to it. No big deal.

ETA: It does Hyperlinks, actually. Ctrl-K is your friend. Shame on me!

The second one is yWriter, and is a free software written by Simon Haynes.
The article that references it : http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter.html

Oh boy. This program rocks my world, and I've only explored a small portion of its possibilities. It makes it so easy to find the scenes you're working on, and which characters are in which scenes, at what location... You can fill all sorts of details, like for example at what time the scene starts, when it ends, if particular objects are being used...

I find it a lot more practical than my standard word processor. I've just finished a short fiction. I had made a rather major change (as in, gotten rid of one character) at one point, and forgotten to fix all the scenes to reflect that change. I was able to find my ghost character very easily. I was also able to rewrite scenes to explore new avenues, while keeping the old ones and mark them as "unused" so they wouldn't appear in the printed version.

Cool stuff, really.
tefnut: (Default)
I've been thinking a lot about what is a story recently.
After reading posts on plotting, especially this one by [livejournal.com profile] penknife, and writing one myself, I realised I was always using the same four concepts.

confused )
So: conflict < plot < story < narrative.

I'm not sure about that and I might be completely wrong. In which case please feel free to enlighten me!

What's the point of all of this? I think it might be helpful, when analyzing one's fiction (or someone else's, when one is a beta-editor), to find out where are the weak/strong points of it and where they are located on this scale. Is the story lacking in plot, or is there something wrong with the narrative? Is the author good at organising various plots into a coherent story? Are the conflicts believable?

Anyway, I'll try to keep this structure in mind while writing my next story (the One Big Bad Meanie New Bitch of a Story, that is). Hopefully it will kick me into producing some narrative!

September 2015

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