Some of you know (because I’ve been going on and on about it for the last few months) that I’m writing a piece of software for storytellers. So, I’m gonna tell you a bit more about it, and hope there are some ideas y’all can suggest…

What’s it all about?

Writers working on big projects – novel, screenplays, and the like – have to deal with a lot of different elements and layers. They write about characters, events, backstory, locations, etc. They also write about character arcs, plot, theme, and stuff like that. All of this is pretty bloody complicated. So, Ariadne is about making the whole process simpler.

How does it do it?

You can create the individual elements of your story, describe them, and link them together. At the heart is the definition of events, and how they link up to form a story, like this;

It doesn’t correspond to the telling of the story, but the larger set of events the whole story is being written about; so you can write backstory, character history, and the story itself, all in the same picture.

Linking things up

You can create characters and other story elements, and link them up with events. Then you can see where that character occurs;

So you can check that each of your characters has a good, well-developed story. You can link events to locations, characters to other characters to describe friends, parents, etc, and really whatever links you like.

Seeing everything

There’s some basic reporting, where you get a report of each element with all it’s text, links, etc. You can’t write your story in the program yet, though. There’s acrobat, rich text, and html output.

Groups

It can be tricky to manage large groups of characters and events, so you can group them together. In the example above, ‘fellowship’ contains nine characters. That means whenever you add ‘fellowship’ to an event, the program knows that all nine characters are also involved. That lets you deal with large groups of elements simply

Customising

The basic editor is seperate from the idea of stories. You could model anything you want in it – projects, computer programs, formal logic, websites maybe – by giving it different templates to work with.

What does it need?

Over to you guys, really. If you write large projects with lots of related elements, Ariadne might be able to help you. If you can tell me what more it’d need to do for you to use it, that’d be great. If you can tell me what system you use to organise your writing, that gives me a better idea of how I can make it suit your needs. Basically, any ideas gratefully received, including reasons why you think it’s useless or unhelpful. Fire away.

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5 thoughts on “

  1. It looks great – I’ve no idea if it’s useful or not – but I thought you might want to post links to this on LJ writers’ communities. (You probably thought of this already but I’m trying to be helpful).

    • No, that’s a good idea. Cheers. Will have to change the example, though – that’s why I was asking about copyright the other day, and the reason this is posted privately.

  2. Having seen the bit you showed me, I definately want to try it out… That said, my PC has trouble doing anything at the minute, can you bung me a test copy to beta? I can’t download anything at the mo…

  3. Looks like a good thing, especially if you write a lot. Might also help journalists. And I can see how writers like Jordan (The Wheel of Time) would benefit from it…
    If you need somebody else to test, I am happy to give it a go as well. Hell, I could even try it out for my thesis (scientific writing), see how it works there.

  4. Sounds good – I can’t download anything (internet computers being at uni, and my computer being at home) but if you have a copy on CD or something then I’d be more than happy to try it out. My latest project is a multi-stranded thing with a cast of hundreds (feels like it anyway!) so it’s probably ideal for a test run!

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