New toys

Well it turns out a wiki is kind of a perfect storybuilding tool for me. I develop a lot of junk while I’m writing and though I try to keep track of it, it often gets lost with nowhere to keep track of it.

This morning I woke up around 4 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. So I installed a wiki on my web server and started playing. Oh my god. I might even be kinda sorta outlining that sf story…!!! While also fleshing out the characters, world, species, etc… Love it.

I have to laugh though because my written-down outline pretty much has the same problem as when I don’t use one and just go by the seat of my pants. Strong beginning, then I get to the middle section and it’s “then some stuff happens…” and then a strong ending.

I hate pinning that stuff down because I feel like it should grow out of each even that happens, and that is how I write it. The few times I’ve written or tried to write from an outline that’s where I’m most likely to go COMPLETELY off the reservation or to decide to throw out the outline completely. When I’ve tried to be faithful, I’ve tended to produce passionless scenes I throw out anyway.

But this time I am going to give it a good faith effort and just pick like, three key points. Not get too fussy so I feel like I have room to change and grow. Just to help guide me, so I don’t (as I often do) sit there wondering what the heck Main Character would do next…

Also I have a tendency to feel like if a story is told (or “solved” in my mind) I never want to write it, so I must not fully “solve” it…

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  1. Mac

     /  May 26, 2011

    Can one make a wiki on one’s hard drive? Is there software for that, do you know?

    • There is Doku wiki on a stick– you can install a mini version of Doku wiki (what I’m using) on a USB drive and run it on any windows machine; or there was… TwiddleWiki, I think, which is a one file wiki that’s all HTML and Javascript. There are also other Desktop wikis you can install, too… I found mine on this list. I went with Doku since the data is stored in text files, ie-salvagable even if I lose Doku Wiki for whatever reason.

  2. This wiki business sounds quite interesting… I’m really glad you found a useful tool! It does make me smile how we seem to be so similar in every experience writing-wise except for the actual way we write – I can’t set pen to paper at all until I’ve got a full outline set down to guide me! It just shows you how different people have different things that work for them.

    • I love it. I am already drawn to things like appendices, glossaries, etc for stories; this way, I am building up a reference for my world WHILE coming up with my story.

      … The real test will be whether I actually write the story 😉 *laughs* but it is definitely bringing the ideas together.

      But, for example, I wrote a one sentence overview, then linked the names of the main characters, then wrote down as much as I could about them, then started linking off details like the ships, the races, the planets, etc…

      Hahah SO MUCH DOOM. Worldbuilding why are you awesome.


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