Ever since I started writing, I’ve studied all sorts of novel development systems, methodologies, tools, and books. And I’ve once or twice cobbled together enough of these ideas to draft a novel without too much trouble–but, I’ve always been dissatisfied.
Always, I’ve felt the people behind these ideas muddle their analyses, and as a result the tools or systems they present. The result has been literary analytic tools misapplied to outlining, project management tools misapplied to brainstorming, and brainstorming tools applied–frankly, to enhanced procrastination.
Finally, I gave up and rolled my own system, targeted around the hardest part of novel creation–the up front planning that for so many successful writers, is done using stacks of note cards or walls covered with Post-It notes.
I wanted something with the fluidity of mind-mapping (or traditional brainstorming), the outlining structure of a framework like “Save the Cat” (but without the stilting rigor) and the spacial orientation of a dining table covered with cards–but all in a portable, storable, versionable on-line form I can see in a single view. In short, I wanted a digital power tool that would help me leverage human talent to more productively create–instead of a system indented to supplant creativity or implemented as a jumbled mess of complexity.
And now I have it. It has features of (and can utilize) common story structure, combined with layers to integrate both horizontal development along story arcs and vertical development from concept to scene.
It really works, and you’ll be hearing more about it in the future.