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Unread 16th Nov 2014, 02:08 PM   #1
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Fiction Ideas Writing Software: Ignite Your Inspiration; Create Illustrated Plots You Can Even Sell!
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Short Of Fiction Ideas?
Consult The Muse On The End Of Your Mouse!
Create Plots You Can Use Or Sell!

Hi. I'm Diana Lane, and I’ve been writing in some form or another for as long as I can remember. Over the years I’ve had occasional pieces published in magazines and in our local newspaper, but the vast majority were written for an online audience with the first showing up on a consumer review site in 1999.


Those early years taught me a lot. They taught me that inspiration was not a thing that could be called up just because because it was time to sit down and write, and that when inspiration did appear it would often result in something flat and one-dimensional. It was while looking back and trying to figure out why some of my pieces had enjoyed more success than others that I realized my most popular work had been fed not by one thought, but by two. It was the effect that they had on each other that created a complete and compelling idea.

For example, a review of a website followed the progress of a couple with differing opinions on the site as they used it. This showed the best and worst of it, making it informative. Using Special Agents Mouldy and Scurvy as the open-minded and sceptical users added another dimension and made it interesting.

I began to make this observation work for me and abandoned product reviews entirely in favour of writing fiction. Along the way, I noticed that all popular commercial plots are the result of multiple thoughts too, each teaming up with the other to become a concrete idea.


This is why there's always room for something new, even in ideas which have been done to death. The often quoted saying in the UK 'It's grim up north' might seem like there's no mileage in it once you've described hard-bitten northerners looking for jobs in a poor economic climate a few times, but pair it with 'Ordinary men willing to bare all for cash' and you've got 'The Full Monty', or with 'Boy battles his father's idea of masculinity to become a ballet dancer' and you've got 'Billy Elliot'.

Of course, knowing this is only half the battle and most of us have stared at a blank screen for long enough at times to know that one thought can be hard enough to come by, let alone two. This is an incredibly frustrating feeling to come up against in an era when it’s never been easier to self-publish on Kindle and the like, and as a coder I decided I'd address it by creating a software which would present the user with random combinations of images which could spark an endless stream of thoughts and ideas. 'Fiction Ideas' was born. It's made life as a writer much easier for me, and now it can do the same for you.

Fiction Ideas - The Idea Generator


The combination of images is drawn at random from the program's image folders and consists of two characters, an object and a setting.

You're not limited to using the program's images, and the categories can be changed by the end user. You can have your ideas sparked by one character, two objects and a setting or even three characters and your choice of root vegetable if that's what your kind of fiction calls for.

This means that if you've been relying on purchasing plots created by others and the genre you'd like to write in relates to something under-served like Steampunk or the gritty world of the football terrace, it's now a simple matter to create your own.

In addition to ideas for plots, the program can help generate ideas for scenes and chapters when you're stuck, so very soon you'll go from having no ideas at all to having tons of them. No problem - they can all be filed away and categorized using the program too. There are even a few custom fields available. File by series name, genre or whatever you need to. You can record multiple pen names and even use multiple databases - handy if you write 'adult' fiction but want to let your children use the program too.


The Idea File


You can also store information about your characters and settings, as well as objects (a knife is only 'just' a knife if it hasn't been handed down to your villain by his late father, providing him with a compelling reason to return to the scene of the crime when he leaves it behind!).

Knowing what motivates your character helps enormously when you find yourself asking 'But why WOULD he do that?', just as knowing that your setting has an unseen feature will impact upon your story.




The Idea Builder

Naturally an idea will need some shaping before it becomes a plot, and 'Fiction Ideas' offers two ways you can do this. Your first option is to use the 'Idea Builder' to help take your idea through the steps of the traditional eight-point story arc, so that it follows the path that readers have come to expect and turns the tale in a manner common to just about every popular story that has ever been written.


I'm primarily a short fiction writer and found the Idea Builder perfect for creating short stories, with little extra in the way of tweaking needed on the rarer occasions when I wanted to create something longer. However, since making the program available to other people I've had feedback suggesting that many would like to see a similar 'fill in the blanks' approach incorporated which was geared specifically to longer fiction.

The Three-Act Structure

The three act structure is so common to the plotting of novels (and even to that of many short stories) that it's almost universal. As an alternative to the Idea Builder, the current version of Fiction Ideas allows you to plot your idea according to the three-act structure. Simply decide what you would like to happen in your three acts, then drill down in more detail for each one.



Need More? No Problem!

There are many variants of both the eight-point arc and the three-act structure, and it's possible that you're already comfortable with one that suits your brand of fiction more. Perhaps different question prompts would be more relevant to your genre, or you may prefer to be prompted to wrap up your story with a twist in the tale. Fiction Ideas now offers you the ability to edit the question prompts supplied for both the eight-point story act and the three act structure, giving you more creative freedom than ever.



How About Non-Fiction?

Although very definitely aimed at fiction writers, the ability to edit those question prompts means that you can even use one of your databases to catalog and outline ideas for many of your non-fiction books too, or perhaps use it to store notes for short-story length articles. It really is a very flexible system.



Research

We've probably all been told at school 'Write about what you know', and it seems that most of us are ignoring that advice if the current trend for fiction involving attractive and available billionaires is anything to go by! Successful writers realise that readers often want to escape into worlds unlike their own, which means that some research is called for if the story is to be authentic. 'Fiction Ideas' lets you keep and categorize all your research links in one place too.



PDF Reports

Many authors like to close all programs apart from the word processor to avoid distractions while working, and some like to step away from the screen altogether and work with a typewriter or even write by hand. The program generates illustrated reports which can be saved as PDF files using any PDF printer (I use the free 'Bullzip' program) and then printed out for reference.


It does take a little time to craft all but the most flimsiest of plots, but of course it takes even more time to write the stories and so it's not difficult for Fiction Ideas to leave you with a lot more plots than you can possibly use. Waste not, want not - pass your ideas on to an outsourced writer or simply package your PDF reports and sell them!

The images supplied with the program all come with rights which allow you to distribute them as part of your plots, which is something not always easy to obtain where people and even buildings are involved. If you have difficulty finding images of your own with similar rights, further images are available on the website. None of this matters if you have no plans to sell your plots and are generating them for your own personal use. Give Brad Pitt a leading role - you can use any image you like!

From Plotting To Writing

Once you’ve plotted your idea, you’ll probably want to get straight down to writing and refining it. Text and image data for characters, objects and settings can be exported to file to be used with your word processor or Scrivener. Plot text can either be copied and pasted from the screen in it’s entirety or quickly split into parts and exported to files which Scrivener users can easily import into the program.

With Fiction Ideas you can…


Fiction Ideas will run on Windows 98, Me, NT4, 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8/Desktop (32/64-bit). *PDF files can be created from within the program using a third-party PDF printer. Instructions for doing this using Bullzip are in the illustrated user guide supplied with the Fiction Ideas program. A trial version of the program can be downloaded here if you'd like to find out more.

'Fiction Ideas' currently sells for $37, but as a Warrior you can snag the software here for just $27. If you want a bargain-priced way to boost your productivity and build a stash of fiction ideas that’s an asset, simply hit the button below to buy now.

$27



Those days of staring at a blank screen in the hope that inspiration will leap out of it are a thing of the past for me. Now they can become a thing of the past for you, too!
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Unread 17th Nov 2014, 09:19 PM   #2
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Re: Short Of Fiction Ideas? Consult The Muse On The End Of Your Mouse For Plots You Can Use Or Sell!
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The offer has been updated to confirm the fact that additional images for use with the program are free, now and in the future. Further images are regularly added.
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Unread 18th Nov 2014, 01:51 AM   #3
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Re: Short Of Fiction Ideas? Consult The Muse On The End Of Your Mouse For Plots You Can Use Or Sell!
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I wanted to give it a try but I've just realized it doesn't work on Windows 8. Will it be any future version to work on it?
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Unread 18th Nov 2014, 04:43 AM   #4
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Re: Short Of Fiction Ideas? Consult The Muse On The End Of Your Mouse For Plots You Can Use Or Sell!
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There are no immediate plans for a version that works with Windows 8, sorry. Perhaps at some point in the future.
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Unread 18th Nov 2014, 11:33 AM   #5
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Re: Short Of Fiction Ideas? Consult The Muse On The End Of Your Mouse For Plots You Can Use Or Sell!
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OK, thanks. It's really a pity. It looks very interesting, I would have bought it
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Unread 18th Nov 2014, 11:52 AM   #6
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Re: Short Of Fiction Ideas? Consult The Muse On The End Of Your Mouse For Plots You Can Use Or Sell!
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Sorry about that, but I don't have access to a machine that runs Windows 8 here and I would never sell or make claims for anything that I couldn't troubleshoot and support properly. If Windows 8 should ever show it's face here and I end up getting the program running on it then you will be the first to know
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Unread 22nd Nov 2014, 10:17 AM   #7
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Re: Short Of Fiction Ideas? Consult The Muse On The End Of Your Mouse For Plots You Can Use Or Sell!
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I can now confirm that the software runs on Windows 8 without issue. Big thanks to my happy little band of testers
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Unread 22nd Nov 2014, 11:42 AM   #8
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Re: Short Of Fiction Ideas? Consult The Muse On The End Of Your Mouse For Plots You Can Use Or Sell!
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Hi Diana
It might benefit this WSO if you could get a few genuine, unbiased reviews from respected Warriors. I'm interested, but I'll wait and see what others say first
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Unread 22nd Nov 2014, 04:47 PM   #9
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Re: Short Of Fiction Ideas? Consult The Muse On The End Of Your Mouse For Plots You Can Use Or Sell!
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Hi, Annie. Hopefully some feedback should show up here eventually (unless I'm a bad judge of 'respected' - we'll see ).
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Unread 30th Nov 2014, 08:39 AM   #10
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Re: Short Of Kindle Fiction Ideas? Consult The Muse On The End Of Your Mouse! Plot Creation Software
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A trial version of the software is now available to allow you to judge for yourselves.

This version includes the user guide and the example plot reports. Naturally there are limitations to the trial, but any data saved will be preserved on installation of the full version and will not be overwritten.

Limitations of the trial version:

The Idea Generator is limited to fifteen uses

Two of these ideas may be saved, as well as one each of characters, objects, settings and research links.

These records cannot be deleted, and the images associated with them cannot be edited.

The plot prompt questions cannot be edited.

The program is limited to the default database – multiple databases cannot be created.

Reporting is disabled

This should be more than sufficient to confirm that the program fits your needs and will run on your machine, but I'll be happy to answer any questions regarding the software or to address any issues you may encounter while using it.
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Unread 27th Dec 2014, 10:34 PM   #11
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Re: Short Of Kindle Fiction Ideas? Consult The Muse On The End Of Your Mouse! Plot Creation Software
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Version 2.0 of Fiction Ideas has just been released. Features new to v2 include an the ability to plot using the three-act structure - an alternative to the eight-point story arc which may be more suited to longer fiction. You can still plot using the eight-point story arc, which short story writers will probably find more useful.

In addition, the user can now edit the question prompts associated with both the eight-point story act and the three-act structure to make them more relevant to a particular genre etc. This means you could even use them to outline a non-fiction book in many instances.
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Unread 20th Feb 2015, 07:20 AM   #12
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Re: Short Of Kindle Fiction Ideas? Consult The Muse On The End Of Your Mouse! Plot Creation Software
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Fiction Ideas V2.2 - New 'export' buttons on various screens allow users to export text and images associated with characters, settings and objects to file. In addition, plot text can be broken into chunks at the touch of a button and exported to text files for users of Scrivener, who can easily import them into the program. A few minor usability improvements have also been made.
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