StoryBox 2 is done. Finally. Eight months of tweaking and rearranging and wholesale changing have made StoryBox into a more flexible piece of writing software than it has ever been. And if you’ve used it, you know that it was already flexible.
My goal with StoryBox 2 was to clean up as many of the dusty corners as I could, and to do a better job at having things organized while still available to use everywhere, including in full screen mode.
With that in mind, I created the MenuBar – a strip along the bottom that takes up no more room on the screen than the combination of the Menu and StatusBar that previously existed, but gives you more functionality, including a Countdown Timer, 6 different word count meters, the clock and session timers, and, of course, the menu. The menu, instead of being text, is now a set of six icons. It takes a moment to get used to it, but once you do, I think you’ll like the fact that they are out of your line of sight.
The next big thing is the new export dialog. It allows you to save Export Profiles for each story. The Export Profiles save every setting, as well as a list of the selected files. I use this to make separate eBook exports for each retailer like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. This way, I can customize the front and back matter for the retailers, and if I need to make changes, I don’t have to worry about making mistakes when selecting which files to export. The profile saves those selections.
The third big change is the Full Screen mode. In Full Screen, you now have access to every tool in StoryBox. You can do your outlines in full screen, you can do your Storyboarding in full screen, and you can have multiple documents visible side by side in full screen. You can set a different theme for full screen than you have in Windowed mode, and you can even set up the MenuBar differently.
In the coming months, I’m going to back off StoryBox development, to a degree. I will fix bugs over the summer while I concentrate on getting a Mac version of TrackerBox out, as well as the four books I have currently finished writing, but haven’t published. After that, releases will focus on one part of StoryBox at a time, the first of which will be search features.
There are 114 changes from 1.5 to 2.0, many of them minor, but far more than I could talk about in a blog post. Check them out and download StoryBox 2 from StoryBoxSoftware.com.
It’s May 31st. Yes. I was planning to release StoryBox 2 today. I planned to release Fragments today, too. Neither of them are happening.
StoryBox 2 will go out of beta sometime next week. I had to do some updates to TrackerBox that were not planned due to Barnes & Nobles change over from PubIt to NOOK Press. Now, the only thing holding StoryBox 2 up is fixing up the help file. I’ve already done a bit of work on it, but it needs more, especially with all the additions and changes, including changes that occurred after version 1.0 that never got included in the help. I will work on that this weekend.
Fragments has a different story. I started the formatting (which occurs after editing) last Friday and quickly discovered there were things I didn’t like. These things were there despite having been read by four other people, not including myself. The book was written last summer, and I’ve written a lot since then, so perhaps it’s just me growing as a writer, but I couldn’t let the book go out with things I hated in it. So I’m running through it one more time in an attempt to clean out those things that just bug the crap out of me. I’m sure, if I read it again six months from now, there will be more writing in it that I don’t like, but I feel I owe it to you to at least like everything in it at the time I release it.
So you can probably add two or three weeks to the release date for Fragments. I’m going through it as fast as I can, but I’m not rushing it, and it’s a long book. I think I’ve said it before, but it’s nearly 30% longer than Shattered. Reworked is coming along, but it’s probably going to be another 20-30% longer than Fragments. And, though I had planned it as a trilogy (planned is a loose term, here – imagined is probably better), I have an inkling there will be a fourth book.
This also means Zombies Bought the Farm will be delayed, but since it’s far shorter than Fragments, I’m hoping it won’t be much more than a week later than my original plan.
Today (May 31, 2013) is the last intentional day to get Shattered for $2.99. It’s $2.99 at pretty much all of the retailers listed on the Shattered page.
I just watched a video of Amanda Palmer speaking. Again, like her commencement address and her TED talk, it’s a powerful, unique speech. She think deeper about art than I ever have, but at times, the way she talks about it nearly makes me tear up. I feel like an idiot.
But I shouldn’t. Art matters. ART matters in a way that I think we all take for granted. We take it for granted because there’s so much of it that we can’t avoid it. And, frankly, ninety percent of what exists doesn’t have a chance of resonating with you, or with me. The beautiful thing, though, is that the ten percent that does resonate with me is likely to be a different ten percent than the ten percent that resonates with you, or your neighbor, or your grandmother. We all have a different ten percent.
Am I making art when I write? Certainly. Good art? I can’t answer that. I write what comes to me. I don’t construct it. I try to tell the stories I have inside me while trying to avoid rehashing my influences. Do I succeed? I think so, but I do not know for sure.
And that’s where you come in. If my work is in your ten percent, please help me. Tell the world, or at least, tell your friends. If my work is not in your ten percent, then help another artist and tell everyone about the work that is.
All this week (through the 31st of May), Shattered is on sale for $2.99 as part of a group promotion with a lot of other awesome fantasy works. Pick up Shattered on the cheap and get it read before Fragments comes out in early June (I’m aiming for the 6th, but with the vagaries of the US Postal Service and the speed of bits on the internet at the various retailers, it might be an extra day or two).
There’s nothing like finding a major continuity problem in a book with only two weeks left before you plan to release it. Stress levels go up, the day’s planned writing output goes down.
While writing Reworked, yesterday, not twenty words in I wrote a sentence that exposed a problem that I had created in Fragments. A goodly number of conversations mentioned this particular issue in exactly the wrong way. It involved something happening in Gerard’s past that would have invalidated the way he behaved in Shattered, and that’s about as much as I can say without spoilering parts of two books.
Once I realized this problem existed, I couldn’t write anything more until I found all the places where this set of events was mentioned and created a plan to fix them. One scene will require a complete rewrite, and there are a few other places that will need minor edits. It will probably add a couple days to my planned publication date because I’ll have to get the scene looked at by at least one other third party before I can call it good.
I’m annoyed, to say the least, but it’s better than catching it after I’ve already published the book.
If I’m late on any of my book deliveries in the next couple months, it’s because I just discovered Alias on NetFlix. I watched a half dozen episodes tonight, and I could watch them all day tomorrow, too. Amazing. How did I miss it when it was on? Okay, fine. I know how. I mostly don’t watch TV. Maybe one TV show per season (addicted to The Walking Dead and Suits. Now, addicted to Alias. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it right now.