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How Do You Manage Your Universe?
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Kraetos
Lovable Bastard
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2010-12-10, 11:23

I need a better system for managing my fictional universe. Right now I have a smattering of text documents, and what I want is a wiki.

I was about to install the MediaWiki software on my computer and just run it locally, but then I decided it would be good to look around the internet to see if some enterprising individual had given the MediaWiki software a nice Cocoa wrapper. I couldn't find anything, so I thought I'd ask if anyone is hiding some cool software which is exactly what I need. The main things I care about is templates (i.e. different templates for things like people, ships, or battles) and links.

Also, does anyone know of a service like Wikia which lets you make your wiki completely private? Because that would be better than offline, but I want it to be private, and I can't tell if Wikia can do that or not.

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope

Last edited by Kraetos : 2010-12-10 at 12:57.
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Capella
Dark Cat of the Sith
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
Send a message via AIM to Capella  
2010-12-10, 11:53

I use Scrivener. If you want I can send you some screenshots of how mine looks. I haven't figured out how to master "standard" templates; I just keep a folder called "blanks" and when I want a new one I'll create a new document and paste the template in, because I'm too lazy to figure out how to do it right. It can also cross-link between documents.

I've considered trying a private and registration-only Wiki myself, because I do have friends I share my work with, but I don't actually understand Wiki syntax and I don't know how to make one reg-only, so I can't help you there.

"A blind, deaf, comatose, lobotomy patient could feel my anger!" - Darth Baras
twitter ; amateur photographer ; fanfiction writer ; roleplayer and worldbuilder
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Kraetos
Lovable Bastard
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2010-12-10, 11:59

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capella View Post
I use Scrivener. If you want I can send you some screenshots of how mine looks. I haven't figured out how to master "standard" templates; I just keep a folder called "blanks" and when I want a new one I'll create a new document and paste the template in, because I'm too lazy to figure out how to do it right. It can also cross-link between documents.

I've considered trying a private and registration-only Wiki myself, because I do have friends I share my work with, but I don't actually understand Wiki syntax and I don't know how to make one reg-only, so I can't help you there.
I tried Scrivener and when the trial ended, I went back to Pages because I couldn't justify the price given how little of the features I used beyond basic word processing.

This might be cause to try again, but I'd prefer an online, private wiki.

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope
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curiousuburb
Antimatter Man
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: that interweb thing
 
2010-12-10, 12:17



The regional governors will...

Oh, wait.

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Capella
Dark Cat of the Sith
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
Send a message via AIM to Capella  
2010-12-10, 12:33

I'm bored and I like showing off my setup so I hope you or anyone else reading doesn't mind picspam:




One of my favorite features: I have my research document with the transcript of the game lines open in the bottom window, and the fiction itself up top. This is better than 2 (or more!) TextEdit windows open.



I do a lot of backstory stuff, as you can see, and I like how I can organize them all in folders and then close what I don't need. Again, if I was using something else, if I wanted to page through my research looking for "which document did I put that one thing in" I'd have to manually open a bunch of rtfs, whereas this way they're all in the same screen.

Smaller screenshot, using a document link:



I can click that and go to the Reach info page.


Basically, I know Scrivener isn't for everyone, but given that I tend to produce a ridiculous amount of backstory, and that I routinely shuffle through all of said backstory in order to write, having it all documented right there in one app in one window is worth purchase price alone.

(Is mildly irritating to keep exporting crap to dropbox for other people, though.)

(Sidenote: waaaah I forgot how much I liked this universe now I want to write in THIS ONE instead of the other two I was working on... Does anyone else have the problem where they have too many universes and can't focus? I think I have genre-ADD.)

"A blind, deaf, comatose, lobotomy patient could feel my anger!" - Darth Baras
twitter ; amateur photographer ; fanfiction writer ; roleplayer and worldbuilder
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bassplayinMacFiend
Banging the Bottom End
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2010-12-10, 12:38

Wow, I was looking to make something similar to this in order to use my iPad as my RPG gaming companion to manage in-game story plots/threads.
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Mac+
9" monochrome
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: I'm here
 
2010-12-10, 17:30

Scrivener is indeed awesome, although my writing needs have changed over recent years.

My methods:
For a research database, Papers.
For thesis writing, Scrivener.
In a similar vein, for UI spec, Axure for Mac (aka Maxure).
For keeping track of project details, interview notes, personal files or shopping research with web snippets, OmniOutliner Pro.

Both Scrivener and Axure handle the multiple window view admirably and I find this helps for writing or designing wireframes and referring to research or requirements at the same time.

OO Pro is great for notetaking and compiling attachments; in essence it's a glorified folder with searchable database. I'm really looking forward to an OO update - it's been a long time coming.

I also used Pages for finalising my thesis and designing language cards and posters, etc. I hear it has outlining capabilities and single screen view for writing but I haven't change my habits yet.
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