Hiveword Blog

Technology and Writers

May

18

Top WKB Websites for 2017

By Mike Fleming (@hiveword) on May 18, 2017 9:00 pm

There are over 4,000 unique websites represented in the WKB. That’s a lot! The ones that have the most articles are something special. So, for fun, I’m running a countdown of the top 10 sites at https://hiveword.com/wkb/topSites. Check it out!

May

18

Mountain Biker Musings

By Mike Fleming (@hiveword) on 11:47 am

The next time you’re in nature:

Be quiet.
Stand up straight and close your eyes.
Listen to the wind in the leaves.
The birds.
The bugs.
And think for a moment that all of that was here before you were.
And all of it will be here when you’re gone.
But right now, you’re the variable.
The wildcard.
The ripple in the pond.
Make a difference.

May

13

Hiveword Newsletter

By Mike Fleming (@hiveword) on May 13, 2017 1:55 pm

TL;DR: The inaugural Hiveword newsletter is coming soon. You should sign up now to learn and maybe win a prize!

As an overall entity, Hiveword currently has two newsletters: one for the Writer’s Knowledge Base (WKB) and one for Knockout Novel. I’m going to phase out these two newsletters and make one all-encompassing Hiveword newsletter. This will give me much more room to explore content which will range from interviews to highlighting new features in all of the Hiveword products.

The first Hiveword newsletter will have an interview with an author who will open your mind to the educational and business aspects of short stories. It could change your life. Or at least how you approach your writing career. If that’s not enough, I’ll also be giving away Knockout Novel and a lifetime Hiveword Plus subscription to folks who are signed up when the first issue is sent.

Finally, don’t forget about the WKB link subscription feature. You can now get daily or weekly emails with the latest links that were added to the WKB. You can even customize your emails by selecting the categories of writing articles that you want to see. This feature is totally unrelated to newsletters. Learn more about WKB link emails here.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to sign up for the Hiveword newsletter.

May

12

Search Everything!

By Mike Fleming (@hiveword) on May 12, 2017 6:51 am

You can now search everything in Hiveword Plus!

What do I mean by everything? Well, I’ll say it again: Everything. 😉

You can quickly search characters, scenes, settings, items, story summaries, plotlines, chapters, notes, journal entries, custom types/fields, and tags. In other words, everything.

There’s now a little search box at the top of every page:

Upon searching you’ll see the results page:

The search reaches across everything you have in Hiveword. So, you’ll see hits for journal entries and other things that aren’t attached to stories. You’ll also see hits across stories but the sample screenshot only shows one story.

While search seems like a simple thing these days, I am really excited to have it because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had trouble finding something. Now, that something can’t hide. 😉

I hope you like this new feature as much as I do!

(NOTE: Search is available in Hiveword Plus which is an upgrade from basic Hiveword.)

Apr

7

Get Categorized Writing Articles in your Inbox

By Mike Fleming (@hiveword) on April 7, 2017 11:37 am

Today, I’m over at Elizabeth’s blog talking about how to get daily or weekly emails of fresh links to writing articles using categories you choose. I love getting the email every day. Give it a try and maybe you will, too!

Mar

26

New content for Knockout Novel

By Mike Fleming (@hiveword) on March 26, 2017 1:29 pm

Just a quick update for Knockout Novel customers…

James Scott Bell and I added some bonus content to Knockout Novel. Specifically, it’s a plot breakdown of “To Kill a Mockingbird” with scene summaries and annotations highlighting Jim’s various structure mileposts. It serves as a concrete example of using the various plot points from a well-known story.

To see it, log in to Hiveword and pull up the Knockout Novel module for a story. Then, under the “Quick Jump” navigation section, click the last entry called “Sample plot breakdown.”

We hope you find this new content useful!

Mar

11

Website Redesign and New Features

By Mike Fleming (@hiveword) on March 11, 2017 2:42 pm

Hiveword has a new website today.

It feels so good saying that because it’s been a LONG time coming. As a bonus, there are also some new features!

As for the old design… Well, I guess it wasn’t really a design at all. And boy was it ugly. It didn’t convey that Hiveword is actually a suite of tools for writers with a novel planner, a module of expert guidance from a writing coach, and a repository of great articles on writing captured from around the web.

But the best part about the new design is that your eyes probably won’t bleed with the new look. It is MUCH prettier in my opinion. But more importantly, it lets everyone know what Hiveword offers. And that’s a good thing because there was some confusion before about the different offerings and how they relate. (I should point out that the redesign only applies to the main website and not the Hiveword application. That will come later.)

Anyway, enough about the pretty website. How about those new features I mentioned?

First of all, the Writer’s Knowledge Base (WKB) got a facelift and has a much cleaner look than it did before. It also got some new functionality. The WKB now has a browsable directory of articles thanks to recent article categorization work. So, you can explore by topic or you can search the WKB as before (after all, it is the “Search Engine for Writers“). Soon, you’ll even be able to get new categorized articles delivered to your inbox.

Secondly, the redesign includes two other features that are already well-known to folks with a Hiveword account: a character name generator and a place name generator. Now, these generators are available without an account. Plus, they work great on mobile devices so you can use them wherever you go.

I hope you like the changes. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the design or the new features.

Dec

26

Hiveword Outage Notice

By Mike Fleming (@hiveword) on December 26, 2016 1:53 pm

UPDATE 2: If you are having trouble getting to Hiveword then this update is for you.

Hiveword is indeed available but the nature of the upgrade (a new hosting provider) means that the location of Hiveword on the internet changed. There are directories all around that world that know how to find Hiveword (or any web site). But when the location changes, the change of address has to ripple through all of these directories. Tech babble, I know, but worst case it can take up to 48 hours to update everywhere.

These directory updates are out of my control but there are some things that you can try to re-establish contact:

Option 1:

Do a hard reload of your browser tab. Go to hiveword.com. If you don’t get that beautiful honeycomb palette color scheme that you know and love then try to force your browser to do a fresh lookup for Hiveword. From the same “no Hiveword” tab do the following:

Windows: Ctrl + F5
Mac/Apple: Apple + R or command + R
Linux: F5

With any luck you’ll be back in business and should have no further issues.

Option 2:

Try going to Hiveword from another browser. This works best if you haven’t used Hiveword from this browser in a while. This is not a great solution, obviously, but it’s a decent workaround until the address changes propagate. You can try your original browser again tomorrow to see if it updated.

 

Sorry for the trouble. It’s the price of progress, I guess. I hope you notice how Hiveword is a bit snappier. Once you get in, of course. 😉

 

UPDATE: The migration is complete.

 

Hiveword is getting a performance boost! Unfortunately, it will require an outage to make it happen.

Hiveword will be down on December 27th starting around 8am Eastern Time. It will likely be down for several hours. This outage affects all of the Hiveword products: Hiveword Plus, Knockout Novel, and the Writer’s Knowledge Base.

I will give notice on Twitter when it’s going down and when it’s back. Of course, you can always just go to Hiveword.com to see if it’s available.

Thanks in advance for your patience!

Nov

29

Generating a book query with Hiveword

By Mike Fleming (@hiveword) on November 29, 2016 9:40 pm

As a developer, it’s fun to see how others use your software in unexpected ways. For example, my previous post was about how power users do cool but surprising things.
 
Jeremy Menefee is another power user who says that Hiveword produces “world-class content for a book query.”
 
I thought, “It does?” 😉
 
Turns out that Jeremy convinced me. What I thought of as a simple backup mechanism to prevent lock-in actually serves a secondary purpose.
 
Who knew?

Nov

27

Tips from Hiveword Power Users

By Mike Fleming (@hiveword) on November 27, 2016 9:14 am

hwbirthday

Hiveword’s birthday celebration continues! I thought it would be fun to get some tips from power users on clever ways they leverage Hiveword.

I’ll start! 😉

Generating Exotic-Sounding Names for Characters or Locations

If you’re writing fantasy but you’re having trouble coming up with character or place names then look no further than the Location generator!

The location generator allows you to pick a country for which to show places. For English speakers, selecting a country like Morocco or Azerbaijan produces exotic-looking names that can be used for characters or setting names. Now, you probably wouldn’t use the names as-is (since they are real places, after all) but it’s easy to see that tiny tweaks make for some very interesting names.

Here are some examples from Morocco:

locationnames

With just a quick scan I noticed Agadir Melloul. Now, that’s a cool name. I could use “Agadir” or maybe “Agadin” as a character or place name and I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll never hear “Agadir” called out at Starbucks!

From a quick search of Azerbaijan I came across a great name for a wizard or alien: Qazax!

Tracking Flashbacks and Character Arcs

Next up we have Lisa L. who has not one but two clever uses of the plotline feature. She says:

I use the plotline tag for flashbacks.  Because flashbacks — by definition — occur before the main story, it can be difficult to determine what happened when if I just stick them in my main narrative without tagging them.  However,  using the plotline tool to tag them, as well as writing a description within the plotline section enables me to keep better track of my story…within a story.

Also, even though I can tag scenes by character, I typically make plotlines for character arcs, so that I have a summary of their growth, relationships with others, etc.  The more checks and balances I have, the easier it is to follow my sprawling novel.

I should point out that when Lisa uses the term “tag” she means attaching plotlines or characters to scenes which is different from Hiveword’s generic tagging mechanism. Here’s an example of Lisa’s alternative plotline usage in action:

plotlineoverrides

Of course, since each “plotline” is a legitimate Hiveword type it can be tagged, described to any length, and if you have Hiveword Plus you can add custom fields, images, or notes to it.

plotlinearc

Chris B. writes in with three tips:

Using Notes

(Notes are a feature in Hiveword Plus)

“…I put the number for my foot note within the text of my scene summary in the scene summary box and then I put the corresponding number and description in the note box which is above my scene summary box.  I find it cleaner and less distracting then putting the foot note description at the bottom of the scene summary page.

…I hate to throw away major chunks of material during edits, rewrites or at any time.  I feel like I just wasted my time if I do that.  I find myself very reluctant to let go of the material.  So, instead I simply create a note, above the summary box leading with a title such as “Initial Chapter Summary,” or “Material That Can Be Used For Book II,” and stick the cut out material in there.  That way I feel free to take the material out because I feel it is saved for possible future use.”

Placeholder Scenes

“I label 5 scene fields, “Prologue,” “Act I,” “Act 2,” “Act 3,” and “Epilogue.”  I don’t put any other data in these scenes. I just use them as space fillers. I sort them in the proper order amongst my developed scenes (I don’t use chapters). That way when I look at my scenes in list or sort view, I have a more organized at-a-glance break-down of my story structure.”

Chris’ placeholder scenes is such a genius idea that I might try to formally incorporate that somehow. Let me show you how cool that is with some screen shots.

The first screenshot is the list of scenes. The placeholder scenes show you where the acts start. For example:

scenelistwithacts

This is so much better than using tags or prefixing your scene names with the act because you have ultimate freedom to move things around without having to manage those little details that can get stale. Freedom is a perfect segue into the scene sorter with placeholders:

scenesorterwithacts

The scene sorter is very simple to use: simply drag and drop a scene card where you want it. With placeholders, though, you know exactly which act you are adding the scene to. And the best part is that you don’t have to modify anything on the scene itself. Like I said, genius. 🙂

Many thanks to Lisa and Chris for contributing such great tips!

How about your tips? Please consider sharing your clever tips in the comments below so that everyone might benefit.

There’s only ONE day left to win Hiveword Plus or Knockout Novel. Check it out before it’s too late!