How Fictionary Works
Import your manuscript, story edit using Fictionary’s magic, and export when you’re done!
Fictionary analyzes your story and creates powerful visuals such as the Story Arc and Cast of Characters. 11 additional insights help you visualize your story like never before.
Fictionary guides you through a scene-by-scene evaluation against 38 story elements and provides rewrite tips for improving your story exactly when you need it.
Import Your Manuscript
There are a couple of formatting options to consider before importing your manuscript:
Your manuscript needs to be in a Microsoft Word .docx file for Fictionary to recognize it.
Note, if you don’t have a Word .docx file, you can convert your manuscript using an online file conversion tool or let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help!
For Scrivener users, please see our handy 4 step guide to creating a Word .docx file.
For Pages users, Apple has a guide for exporting to a Word .docx file.
For Google Docs users, go to the File tab, Download as Microsoft Word (.docx) and you’re all set.
Fictionary’s magic works based on analyzing your Chapters and Scenes. You can format your Word .docx file before importing or you can use Fictionary to format your manuscript after importing. The choice is yours.
Start each chapter in your manuscript with the word “Chapter ” in plain text or as a Heading 1.
Note, the word Chapter cannot be an image. Here is an example using plain text:
I shut the refrigerator door for the fifth time. Why did I keep looking inside the box for answers? Food wouldn’t solve my problems.
Separate multiple scenes within chapters by a scene break character such as * * *.
If you already have a scene break character in your manuscript, you can use it and you’re ready to import.
If not, choose a scene break character that is unique in your manuscript. Go back to your Word file and enter it between scenes. Do not use a scene break character at the end of a chapter or in chapters that only have one scene.
Here is an example of a scene break character. I’ve used * * * to separate the scenes.
I knew I should get off the ice, but I couldn’t move. I lay on my back, panting. The black water called me. All I had to do was roll over and slide in.
* * *
Daisy hovered over me. Her huge front paws pranced near my shoulder. She licked my face and neck with her cold tongue. Her body blocked my way to the hole of death.
If you have a prologue, please ensure you have the word “Prologue” on it’s own line of text in your manuscript.
At any time you can use the back arrow or the Reimport button if you need to go back one step or your manuscript did not import correctly.
The Guide is your dashboard for Fictionary. From here you can navigate through the app and finish your novel. The main sections include:
Visualize Your Manuscript
Evaluate Your Scenes
Fictionary Edit Complete
Fictionary helps you evaluate and edit your manuscript until you are satisfied your story works. The Visualize page lets you see your story like never before with automated reports such as the Story Arc.
The Evaluate page helps you consider key elements of fiction for Character, Plot, and Setting on a scene-by-scene basis. As you capture information for each element, Fictionary builds out your Story Map report.
You’ll alternate between Visualize and Evaluate until you’re happy with every scene in your manuscript. When your Fictionary edit is complete, you can Export your manuscript back to Word.
Visualize Your Manuscript lists a number of reports that provide feedback on your manuscript. They are grouped by entire Manuscript, Plot, Character and Setting. These reports help you quickly see your story like never before.
The following reports were automatically generated by Fictionary on importing your manuscript:
- Story Arc
- Word Count per Scene
- Scenes per Chapter
- Characters per Scene
- Scenes Per Character
- Point of View
The following reports require you to consider and capture information from your manuscript when evaluating your scenes:
- Story Map
- Scenes Opening / Closing Types
- Purpose of Scene
- Setting Elements Per Scene
Your Progress helps you keep track of your editing.
- Progress by Scene tracks the number of scenes you have evaluated and marked as completed.
- Progress by Key Elements tracks the percentage of Key Elements of Fiction that you have considered/completed.
For Character Elements, Fictionary automatically determines your Character List for every scene. Likewise, the POV Character is auto filled, however, it is up to you to confirm the POV Character for each scene.
For Plot and Setting Elements, once you input data for a particular element, the percent complete increases. To get a detailed view of your Progress by Element, click the View Full Story Map button.
For all reports, click on the associated Rewrite Tip for detailed explanations.
The Story Map and Setting Elements Per Scene change depending of whether you are working in Advanced mode or not.
This is the heart of your story edit. It’s where you Evaluate Your Scenes and get creative with your rewrite.
Fictionary helps you consider and analyze your writing by providing 35 Key Elements of Fiction for Character, Plot, and Setting. For each scene, you can evaluate your work against these elements, and determine if your story is working.
As you capture information from your manuscript for each element, Fictionary starts building out your Story Map. Use these reports to Visualize Your Manuscript and see exactly where and how to improve your story.
- The text of your scene is presented in the middle. Here you can edit your story and add/delete chapters & scenes as required.
- On the right, you’ll update the Key Elements of Fiction. Fictionary has automatically filled out some of the elements for you.
- There are links you can click on, drop down menus, and text boxes that you fill out with your own words. To see the text boxes hover beside the Key Element you want to update.
For each element, Rewrite Tips are available to explain the best way to consider and apply the element to your writing.
The list of Key Elements expands if you are in Advanced Mode.
The scene numbers and names are listed on the left. If the circle beside a scene turns red, you’ve updated data and need click on the Save button.
Click on the Word Cloud to see your scene displayed as a word cloud. This will help you determine your scenes purpose by looking at the most used words.
Click the check box beside the Scene # if you have completed working on this scene and are happy with your writing. You’re editing progress will be updated and you see the results on the Your Progress report.
In the Toolbox you’ll find the following:
- Advanced toggle button.
- Cast of Characters
- Reading Room
Advanced Key Elements of Fiction
Enables you to take your big-picture edit to the next level. The advanced elements allow you to consider more complex aspects of your writing such as character goals, tension, conflict, backstories, and emotional impact.
When selected, the Advanced Elements will appear on the Evaluate page and in the Story Map reports.
When you find you need a quite place to read your manuscript without thinking about editing, this is the place. It’s great for quickly reading your scenes side-by-side and see how they flow.
Under your Username you have access to the the following links:
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