StoryBox 0.5.66 – Outline Builder

Alright, this one has a new feature I’ve been dying to add for a while. Something I ended up calling Outline Builder. If YOU can think of a better name for it, let me know.

In any case, it lets you quickly enter text to create a linear outline that you can then use to populate your story with chapters, your chapter with scenes, or the synopsis or the body of the current document with snippets of text. You can reorder them as much as you like within the outline builder, even reorder them in sets. It’s sort of an initial planning tool that doesn’t require you to even have a chapter ready in your project.

There are also some other bug fixes and changes to go with it.

So, that was the announcement, now the explanation of why.

I do have my own novel that I’ve been trying to work on, and it’s been stuck at a certain point for quite a long time. I’ve just been far too busy (famous last words of failed would be novelists everywhere) with my work and my other hobbies to find the time to work on it.

In addition, the last entry in the outline for it ended with “and he failed for some reason.” I was stuck for what that reason was, and instead of sitting down and thinking about it and inventing something specific, I just let it sit there and laugh at me.

Our oldest has been staying with us for the last week while her husband is out of town, and she’s been writing up a storm (she’s completed eight more novels than I have….), and I asked her to look at my novel in limbo. She told me, after reading it, that I had to complete it. So I sat down, converted it to ePub format so I could read it on my iPad, read it, decided that it’s not awful, and figured out what was going to happen in the next scene right as I finished reading the final bits.

I started writing it up in the synopsis pane of StoryBox for the scene, and realized that, at least the way I work, there was a better way, and that would be if I had my Outline Builder implemented. Why? I like to write a bunch of short bits that describe what’s going on in the scene from beginning to end. I’d done it a bit on my own, but prior to NaNoWriMo this past year, I’d read Lazette Giffords NaNo for the New and the Insane, and in it, she described her Phase System, which really intrigued me and gave my head a way to describe what I was doing more formally. I don’t use her system exactly, as I don’t bother with the word count part of it, but I really needed the Outline Builder to do it right.

So, now, with the Outline Builder implemented, I’m crossing my fingers that I can get back in the saddle on this novel and get it done by the end of September. If I can do that, it will only have taken me eleven months to finish my NaNo novel from last year. Go me!

One thought on “StoryBox 0.5.66 – Outline Builder”

  1. Just came across your program and am looking forward to checking out that Outline Builder. I haven’t been able to write a good outline since the days of WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS. I thought Scrivener might be the answer, but just couldn’t talk myself into switching to a Mac. I hope your approach makes the difference for me.

    Good luck with the novel!

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