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krnstv

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Reply with quote  #16 
What drew me to The Novel Factory was its process orientation. I use Scrivener as well, and view that as a different and potentially complementary application. Scrivener positions itself as a place to create a first draft - for further polishing, you're ultimately directed to a word processor. However, I and others from what I see in their forums use it for second drafts and beyond.

But still. And maybe this belongs in the marketing section.

The roadmap is a handy feature - this is the process orientation I mentioned above. Scrivener has templates for novels, but the process itself isn't there, at least in the step-by-step fashion in this software. Scrivener is quite flexible, so it wouldn't be hard to create a novel template containing the processes in the Novel Factory roadmap. In fact, I considered doing this because I have to use Windows to run the Novel Factory. Since I normally use a Mac, in order to run the Novel Factory, I have to 1) run it on an old Windows PC; 2) dual boot my Mac; or 3) set up VirtualBox running Windows. It's a pain.

While I haven't yet published a novel, I'm not exactly a newbie, as I've published several non-fiction technical books. I say this not to brag, but to emphasize my next point.

The Novel Factory targets new writers from a marketing perspective. In my professional life, I was highly process oriented and highly successful because of that orientation. Repeatable processes are key to ensuring high quality work product. So, I plan to keep using this application because of the process focus of the software.

One last point - if you add every feature everyone wants, you'll be in an endless development cycle and run the risk of creating what's referred to as bloatware. Who uses every feature in Word? Nobody. So my recommendation is to stick to the core features which make The Novel Factory a great and unique product.

JMHO

Steve

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thenovelfactory

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Reply with quote  #17 
Hi Steve,

Thanks very much for your comments - they're much appreciated.

We're actually hoping to release an online version of the Novel Factory later this year, so that will hopefully help with your platform frustrations.

Thanks for your thoughts on  process - can I clarify something? Are you saying that the software doesn't need to only market to newbies with regards to its process? Or that it's good that it does?

It's a good point with the feature thing - feedback suggests that a lot of people like the Novel Factory because it's simple and streamlined, and I know I certainly found the sheer volume of buttons that you're presented with when you first open Scrivener very offputting.

We'll have to be careful to strike the right balance, or perhaps in the long term evolve two versions - a streamlined version aimed at new writers, and a more feature rich, customisable version for more experienced writers. It's something to chew over.

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“It's extremely useful in organizing and making me think about what I write. The advice was invaluable, and the step-by-step instructions guided me extremely well through the writing process, allowing me to develop characters and plot a lot further than expected.” - See more at: http://www.novel-software.com/writingsoftwaretestimonials.aspx#sthash.0smYiFBM.dpuf
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Ghostly

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Reply with quote  #18 
Just FYI:

Apple has approved Scrivener for iOS for the App Store.
Release date: 20th July
Price (US): $19.99
Requirements: Any iOS device that can run iOS 9.0 or above (iPad, iPad Pro, iPhone, iPhone Plus, iPod Touch).
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Wysardry

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Reply with quote  #19 
Whether you add new features will really depend on your target audience and where you expect them to use The Novel Factory in their workflow.

If I were to start writing a novel with your software in its current state, my workflow would likely look something like this:-
  1. Brainstorming with pencil and paper, whiteboard, Scapple or similar
  2. Outlining and making notes with Treepad or Maple
  3. Creating the basic skeleton (main plot and scenes) with The Novel Factory
  4. Completing the details with Scrivener
  5. Exporting to HTML, epub, PDF or whatever
If The Novel Factory had a free-form, tree-based notes system, I could probably also use it for steps 2 and 4.
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krnstv

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenovelfactory

Thanks for your thoughts on  process - can I clarify something? Are you saying that the software doesn't need to only market to newbies with regards to its process? Or that it's good that it does?


I was pointing out that you might consider marketing beyond newbies. Sorry that wasn't clear!

The process orientation is useful regardless of the maturity of the writer. Promoting exclusively to newbies narrows your market, perhaps unnecessarily so.

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thenovelfactory

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by krnstv


I was pointing out that you might consider marketing beyond newbies. Sorry that wasn't clear!

The process orientation is useful regardless of the maturity of the writer. Promoting exclusively to newbies narrows your market, perhaps unnecessarily so.


That's what I thought! I just wanted to check. I completely agree and will take that on board.

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“It's extremely useful in organizing and making me think about what I write. The advice was invaluable, and the step-by-step instructions guided me extremely well through the writing process, allowing me to develop characters and plot a lot further than expected.” - See more at: http://www.novel-software.com/writingsoftwaretestimonials.aspx#sthash.0smYiFBM.dpuf
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thenovelfactory

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wysardry
Whether you add new features will really depend on your target audience and where you expect them to use The Novel Factory in their workflow.

If I were to start writing a novel with your software in its current state, my workflow would likely look something like this:-
  1. Brainstorming with pencil and paper, whiteboard, Scapple or similar
  2. Outlining and making notes with Treepad or Maple
  3. Creating the basic skeleton (main plot and scenes) with The Novel Factory
  4. Completing the details with Scrivener
  5. Exporting to HTML, epub, PDF or whatever
If The Novel Factory had a free-form, tree-based notes system, I could probably also use it for steps 2 and 4.


I feel exactly the same - the most valuable major new feature for me would be something for brainstorming / outlining.

For the next few months we're going to be flat out working on the online version of The Novel Factory, but after that a brainstorming / outlining feature is going to be my top priority.

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“It's extremely useful in organizing and making me think about what I write. The advice was invaluable, and the step-by-step instructions guided me extremely well through the writing process, allowing me to develop characters and plot a lot further than expected.” - See more at: http://www.novel-software.com/writingsoftwaretestimonials.aspx#sthash.0smYiFBM.dpuf
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krnstv

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenovelfactory
Hi Steve,
We're actually hoping to release an online version of the Novel Factory later this year, so that will hopefully help with your platform frustrations.


Here's the thing with online applications. You've got to be online. While you have platform independence, you lose the ability to work disconnected, for example on an airplane without WiFi.  Unless there's an equivalent app for the platform you're running using local data, you're bound to the Internet.

A cross-platform application would be much better, although much harder to develop.

An example of a cross-platform application is Microsoft Office 365. Yes, I know people love to hate Microsoft, and many loathe paying subscriptions, and I'm not posting this to get anyone to buy it. Setting those concerns aside, I can use any of the Office 365 apps on my smartphone, on my Windows PC and on my Mac. I share the same data, and the data is local on the PC and the Mac. Local data syncs with the online data store. But I'm not bound to the cloud in order to work on the Word document, spreadsheet or whatever.

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thenovelfactory

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by krnstv


Here's the thing with online applications. You've got to be online. While you have platform independence, you lose the ability to work disconnected, for example on an airplane without WiFi.  Unless there's an equivalent app for the platform you're running using local data, you're bound to the Internet.

A cross-platform application would be much better, although much harder to develop.

An example of a cross-platform application is Microsoft Office 365. Yes, I know people love to hate Microsoft, and many loathe paying subscriptions, and I'm not posting this to get anyone to buy it. Setting those concerns aside, I can use any of the Office 365 apps on my smartphone, on my Windows PC and on my Mac. I share the same data, and the data is local on the PC and the Mac. Local data syncs with the online data store. But I'm not bound to the cloud in order to work on the Word document, spreadsheet or whatever.


Yes, I totally agree. A cross platform option that integrates cloud syncing and desktop and mobile versions for Windows and Mac would be the best option. And there are definitely limitations of an online version, as you mention.

We decided to focus on the online version first as it seemed the best immediate use of our resources having weighed up all the pros and cons, but the long term goal is to have a versions for Windows, Mac, Online and whatever else emerges which all synchronise elegantly and effortlessly.



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“It's extremely useful in organizing and making me think about what I write. The advice was invaluable, and the step-by-step instructions guided me extremely well through the writing process, allowing me to develop characters and plot a lot further than expected.” - See more at: http://www.novel-software.com/writingsoftwaretestimonials.aspx#sthash.0smYiFBM.dpuf
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Loretta Green

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Reply with quote  #25 
I use Scrivener for windows.  I love the quick way I can add in documents for random things and keep them "outside" the manuscript allowing me to work in both phases of my writing simultaneously, that being pre-writing phase and actual Prose-writing phase.  I create a "Folder" above the file marked "Manuscript" and label it, "Pre-writing" go to the change-icon and choose one that best represents my pre-writing vision of a particular story, usually a yellow notebook, or the screenplay clapboard or something.  Under this heading I just keep adding document after document  called things like: "Original vision", Plot-structure, Setting, Possible scenes etc. Then as I go along, I create more "Folders" and organize it all into things like: "Plot Work" "Scene work" and of course I create my characters under the character folder.   This is where I work through my "Writing Process"

Then, Inside the "Manuscript" I create other new "Folders" titled things that help me keep track of my Novel's actual structure, like. The first "Folder" will be titled "Opening Gamut" or the like.  One big no, no is to title the folders: "Chapter one, Chapter two," etc. Because Scrivener automatically does this and it messes things up when I go to compile.

   So, inside my Opening Gamut I will add "Documents" for my individual Chapters, Calling them things that encompass my vision for that chapter. Like my first chapter will be called "Divorce Papers" because the first big scene will be the fight scene that sets off the significant situation that opens my novel.  The thing about scrivener is that you can put "Documents" inside documents so that you have sub-documents. So, My opening Gamut, is organizational; it is for my own use to keep the "Structure" straight in my own head, some people use the popular mythic "Journey" structure.

My next "Folder" would be the next "Step" of the Journey.

    Then inside that I would have my document "chapters" with sub-documents for titled scenes inside that chapter. I hope that makes sense.

I also like being able to color code my "Label" which I change from the default "Scene" to "POV" so I can color code the scenes based on who's POV it is in.

I love the comment feature that allows me keep a running to do list for my rewrites. These comments stay connect with the actual text as I move the scene around within my novel's structure. I can also embed notes within the text witch is handy to put my "Authors" notes about a line of text but not interrupt my writing flow in that moment.

    Scrivener is less restrictive than The Novel Factory in that I can "Create" my own writing process. I know The novel factory is geared for those who need more structure, but being able to create my own steps would be nice. To be honest I haven't worked with The Novel Factory as much as I would like to. I love some things about The novel factory that are not a part of Scrivener.  Like the create characters function is a lot better than scrivener, the way it breaks it down and gives you a questionnaire. I also love your Locations tab and the head and tail scenes. Not to mention your submissions tab-- Love that! 
   You have a wonderful program, The best way I think you could improve it is to for me to be able to customize it more to Like color code, storyboard, split screen. If I could do these things and be able to set up a actual running Manuscript structure and move my scenes around in that structure, I would probably work exclusively in your program!!
    
     Just a side note, I see that you are looking for beta testers for online version.  I am wondering what the advantages it would have.  Right off the bat I can see being able to save to dropbox, and being able to work with a co-author over the internet, but I am wondering what other things it would offer.  I am interested in being a beta tester.  I love trying new programs!

    Also just want to mention that I do love the way the novel factory makes me think about my premise and the "Process" I just wish I could adapt that "process" more to my personal way of thinking and working as a writer!

Thanx,

Loretta Green




     




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thenovelfactory

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Reply with quote  #26 
Thanks a lot for these comments, Loretta, really helpful.

It's made me really hungry to have all of these features in the Novel Factory! I can totally see how I would find the things you mentioned useful for my own writing.

There's so much more I want to do with the software, and I'm sure it'll never be 'finished' but seeing things like this makes me see how much more potential there is!

(Of course while maintaining the simplicity - a tricky balance).

As for the online version - the key objective is to make the Novel factory available for Mac users (and chromebooks and anything else that might come about), and also people who do a lot of work on the move and on different devices.

So the initial goal is to provide something with the same functionality as the original desktop version, which is cross-compatible.

Once that's achieved, we'll be looking to add extra functionality, and if anyone has suggestions for things they can see opening up in an online version - they will be welcome as always!


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http://www.novel-software.com
“It's extremely useful in organizing and making me think about what I write. The advice was invaluable, and the step-by-step instructions guided me extremely well through the writing process, allowing me to develop characters and plot a lot further than expected.” - See more at: http://www.novel-software.com/writingsoftwaretestimonials.aspx#sthash.0smYiFBM.dpuf
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Loretta Green

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Reply with quote  #27 
I would like to see a feature in the online version were I could work with a co-author in real time, both of us having access at the same time, to a story.  A feature like this, would need two aspects.  A way for me and my co-author to chat to each other "outside" of the project(a seperate chat window) and for us Both to be able to: View, make changes, and track those changes, inside the project itself.  Make sense? 
   Would a feature like this be a possiblity? 
   Also, just a quick question, would this be a seperate service that I would be supsribing to? or would it be included in my current Novel Factory license?  Is it going to be like a writing suit, where desk app and online work in conjuction and I could flip-flop between them working in the same project in both?

Thanx,

Loretta Green
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thenovelfactory

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Reply with quote  #28 
Hi Loretta,

Thanks for your feedback about this feature. I think that's going to be a bit complicated for us to get into the first release, but I will definitely work on adding that in the near future, as it sounds like it could be very useful.

Re the service - as the Online version will involve ongoing costs to run, it will be provided on a monthly subscription basis to users. Existing users of the desktop version will get a discount. We are also planning to have a referral scheme, to make the software available to those on a very tight budget who are willing (keen even!) to help spread the word.

The desktop and the online version will be compatible (although there may be some small divergences in the exact features) so you will be able to swap between them to write your novel.

Does that all make sense?

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http://www.novel-software.com
“It's extremely useful in organizing and making me think about what I write. The advice was invaluable, and the step-by-step instructions guided me extremely well through the writing process, allowing me to develop characters and plot a lot further than expected.” - See more at: http://www.novel-software.com/writingsoftwaretestimonials.aspx#sthash.0smYiFBM.dpuf
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Dreams2Paper

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Reply with quote  #29 
As a Scrivener user of 3 yrs, I have often been frustrated while trying to use the Snowflake method. I have used yWriter because it is more tailored towards story/character development. I have downloaded countless templates for Scrivener only to find it still lacks the steps for early story development. It is great for writing the actual story itself, but if you are a plotter, you need another program to fully develop the outline. Some use the index cards, but that does not lend itself to development of the story from premise to all the sections you need for the story. In order to incorporate all that is necessary for planning a novel was entered into a Scrivener file, it would be far too massive to find your way around once you start the actual writing. It does not even allow more than two main meta-data uses. Once you make one for POV, and the other the Stage, you can't track anything else. It ignores other very necessary parts of a novel that should be tracked, such as action /reaction scenes, sub-plot tracking, etc. 

The Novel Factory, for me, allows me to develop a novel using the snowflake method (which is the basis for most methods). It incorporates a lot of yWriter features that I have always loved that Scrivener doesn't have. It also will allow me to organize my thoughts without creating an insanely massive tree of information that will only serve to distract. I plan on trying to actually write the entire novel in the NF as it does seem possible. 

What does Scrivener have that NF doesn't? That probably was answered by others here. I, however, am coming to NF for its current design of allowing one to develop a useful outline that guides me through from start to finish. I prefer the 'fill out forms' method. Rather than the unguided, massive tree method of Scrivener. I suppose it's from my accounting background that I prefer forms to fill out over blank pages and tons of extra work. 



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thenovelfactory

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Reply with quote  #30 
Thank you for your wonderful post! You're basically describing exactly why we started developing the Novel Factory in the first place, and it's absolutely wonderful to hear that people are finding it as useful as we'd hoped : )
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“It's extremely useful in organizing and making me think about what I write. The advice was invaluable, and the step-by-step instructions guided me extremely well through the writing process, allowing me to develop characters and plot a lot further than expected.” - See more at: http://www.novel-software.com/writingsoftwaretestimonials.aspx#sthash.0smYiFBM.dpuf
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