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Track Anything with Custom Types and Fields

By Mike Fleming (@hiveword) on January 23, 2016 3:40 pm

You know what the problem is with novel organizers? They let you track characters and scenes and such but they don’t let you track magic spells. Or starships. Or whatever else is important to you.

I’m pleased to say that this problem is solved in Hiveword.

You can now track anything you want in Hiveword. Spells and starships, sure, but you can also track political parties, countries, warring clans, fancy hats, guilds, ice cream, monsters, books, weapons, etc. You can even track intangible things such as writing prompts or notes for key plot points. What you track depends on your needs and creativity.

In Hiveword parlance each thing is called a custom type. Each type can contain any number of fields — defined by you! — for capturing the data you want to track for that type. How about a juicy example? Here’s a screenshot showing a custom type for tracking spells (click the image for a bigger view):

Sample Spell

There’s a lot behind this simple screenshot. I created a type called “Spells” and now my stories have a menu called “My Types” which allows me to create a new spell just like I would create a new scene or character. The integration is transparent and consistent.

How does this magic work? Before you can add your type to a story you need to define it. You create the type (which is really just giving it a name) and then add the fields. For adding fields you use the the intuitive fields builder which even has a live preview. Here’s an example:

Fields for Spells

As you add, edit, remove, or sort fields the preview at the bottom will show you exactly what it will look like in your stories. Notice that you can even group your fields. Powerful stuff.

I hope that your jaw is agape at the possibilities. Perhaps you’re drooling. Either response would be awesome. 😉 However, I have one more bit of magic with which to dazzle you…

As you’ve seen above, you can add custom fields to custom types but you can also add custom fields to existing Hiveword types such as scenes and characters! Want to track another attribute for your characters? You can do it. Want to add a box for Theme on the Story page? You can do that, too. The following screenshot shows custom fields added to the character page:

Extra character fields

You add fields to existing types using the fields builder mentioned above. Entering data for the character is done exactly the same as always.

As you can see, custom types and fields essentially let you create your own personalized novel organizer. This is a Hiveword exclusive. This feature is part of Hiveword Plus which is a paid add-on to Hiveword. Hiveword Plus currently has custom types and fields and a writer’s journal. More features are coming. Right now you can lock in a low introductory price while I’m adding the new features. This is my way of thanking you for getting in early. To sign up, log in to Hiveword and click Upgrade at the top of the page or click the link above. There’s a 14 day free trial so there’s no risk to have a look.

In my next post I’ll talk about the new Journal feature. See you then!





Updates: Sorting stories and naming characters

By Mike Fleming (@hiveword) on January 15, 2016 6:40 am

Many folks have asked for the ability to sort stories and to refer to characters by something other then first names. These changes are available now.

First, story sorting…

Stories used to be presented in alphabetical order. This is perfect until it’s not. 😉 For example, folks might want to group a novel series together, put their most recent work at the top, etc.

To allow for diverse story sorting needs you can now manually sort your stories in the same way that you would sort scenes or characters. Simply use the Sort button on the Dashboard (aka story list) and you’ll be on your way to ordering your stories as you see fit.

Next up, character names…

Before, the “reference name” at the top of the character page was tied to the First Name field. Change the first name and the reference name will change and vice versa. Like alphabetical story sorting this was also perfect until it wasn’t.

In the screenshot below you can see that the reference name is “Van” and the first name is, too. They used to always be the same.

Linked Character Names

Now, the reference name and first name are no longer linked. In the screenshot below you can see that I made the reference name “Van Halo” which is different from the first name. The reference name is used everywhere that the character is referred to such as the character list or when included in a scene.

Unlinked Character Names

I hope you find these changes useful. As usual, please feel free to contact me about new features, questions, etc.