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.
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:
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
With any luck you’ll be back in business and should have no further issues.
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!
It’s hard to believe that Hiveword has been helping writers organize their stories for five years. Other Hiveword tools such as The Writer’s Knowledge Base and Knockout Novel have been doing the same for roughly the same amount of time.
So, in honor of Hiveword’s momentous day we’re giving away three subscriptions of Hiveword Plus and three copies of Knockout Novel to six lucky winners.
See here for how to enter. The drawings happen on November 28th. Please tell your friends and help spread the word. Thank you for your support all these years!
Lynn Viehl posted a review of Hiveword today on her blog. Check it out at http://pbackwriter.blogspot.com/2012/09/hiveword.html. Thanks, Lynn!
My blog is now migrated. Woohoo!
Thanks for your patience and sorry if you noticed any hiccups.
How do you like the new design?
This is just a quick note to let you know that I’m switching to WordPress in the next couple days. If you’re an RSS subscriber (thanks!) then you may see my older posts in your feed again. I’m going to try to prevent that but if it does happen it should be a one-time deal.
In fact, repeatedly seeing the old posts in the feed is one of the reasons I’m switching. Sorry if you experienced that in the past.
The other reason for switching was because I felt penned in with my current software. I simply didn’t want to use it and thus blogging was rare.
Now, though, I feel free as a I work on getting the WordPress blog ready. It’s like a breath of fresh air. Plus, I have a backlog of ideas and tips to share so please stick around and check them out.
If you’ve used the Writer’s
Knowledge Base (WKB) you’ve probably noticed that it’s “Powered by Hiveword.”
It’s true, too. The WKB has shared its existence with an unseen twin that has only been referenced in hushed tones. Sort of like Voldemort, I suppose. But not any more. I’m pleased to announce that Hiveword has finally busted free and is waiting to help you organize your novel in one place on the web.
Hiveword allows you to track multiple stories whether those stories are novels, short stories, or whatever. It’s geared toward tracking fiction so each story can have characters, settings, and scenes.
Screenshots: Story Detail, Story List
The data sheet for each character is very rich in detail with sections for Basic, Physical, Psychological, and Miscellaneous attributes. Each section has various fields for fleshing out the character. While I suppose the number of fields could be intimidating the reality is that the only field that has to be filled in is the name (and that’s filled in automatically for you with a placeholder name).
Screenshots: Character Detail, Character List
Settings don’t lend themselves to tons of fields like characters do so there are just fields for the name of the setting, aliases, and notes. Aliases, by the way, allow you to track multiple names for a setting. For example, the “New York”
setting might have an alias of “The Big Apple.” Characters can have aliases, too.
Screenshots: Setting Detail, Setting List
Scenes, of course, are where everything comes together. You see this reflected in Hiveword with a big area for the scene summary along with the critical linkages to characters and setting. You can select a setting from the dropdown list of settings. You can can also indicate which characters are in the scene and which one has the point-of-view (POV).
There are also pages where you can list all of the characters, for example, where each one has important details right there in the list.
Screenshots: Scene Detail, Scene List
Hey, what about my data, Mr. Hiveword Man?
Excellent question! Thanks for asking.
Most sane people are concerned (and rightfully so!) about entering their data into a system and not being able to get it out. It’s called “lock in” and I don’t like it, either. Hiveword has you covered, though. Each story has an export link. Click it and you can instantly download all of the data for that story in one rich text (RTF) document. The RTF format is readable by just about all word processors so have no fear.
Exporting is also a great way for you to make your own periodic backups. Grabbing a backup every now and then will give you peace of mind but you can also rest assured that Hiveword is backed up daily.
Screenshot: Story exported as RTF
What you see in Hiveword today is just the beginning. I have BIG plans for it and can’t wait to get them done so that you can start benefiting from the new features as soon as possible.
You can try Hiveword now to see how it can help you you get more organized with your stories. No more scraps of paper here and there. There will eventually be a small monthly fee but I’m not sure when that will actually happen. My intention is to keep Hiveword ad-free (which I do for the WKB as well) mainly because I find them annoying and I think you’d find them distracting while you’re trying to create.
Of course, the good news is that I haven’t written the billing code yet and don’t know when I will so Hiveword will be effectively free for who knows how long. So, there’s no risk in giving it a try; you can always export your data at your whim.
Thanks for reading. I truly hope you find Hiveword useful.
What are you looking for in a novel organizer?