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Organizing Chapters in Hiveword

By Mike Fleming (@hiveword) on February 17, 2015 7:13 am

2015 is getting off to a strong start with another Hiveword feature — Chapters!

In a book, a chapter is comprised of one or more scenes. The grouping of the scenes in a chapter has a purpose — perhaps it’s comprised of one particular plotline, or a new character comes along, or whatever your heart desires. The chapter feature in Hiveword allows you to organize your chapters by specifying a summary or purpose and by assigning scenes to those chapters. Let’s see how it works…

First of all, chapters get first class treatment with their own menu:


You’ll see that the Chapters menu is consistent with characters, settings, etc., in that you can create, list, and sort chapters. I’ll talk about Scenes by Chapter later.

Here’s the relevant part of a chapter page:



You can see that I called the chapter “Beginnings.” I did that by clicking on the chapter name and editing it (by default it was “Chapter 1”). The Summary box allows you to capture whatever you’d like about the chapter. Note that scenes are still the main unit of work in Hiveword and chapters are just a layer over scenes. You wouldn’t want to put all of your scene summaries in the chapter summary box. Rather, describe the chapter at a higher level.

You can also tag chapters with any text you want. Tags work the same way as they do anywhere else in Hiveword.

Once you have chapters you can assign scenes to them with the Scenes by Chapter page which is the last option on the Chapters menu. Here’s a screenshot:


In the screenshot above I have three scenes. The first is already assigned to chapter 1 because I did that earlier. I now want to add the Bouldermort scene to chapter 2 so I selected it, chose the chapter in the dropdown, and pressed Save. Upon saving the page is refreshed:


So, out of my three scenes, two of them are assigned to chapters. Obviously, I can assign more than one scene to a chapter but selecting the ones I want. If you have a lot of scenes to assign to a chapter you can quickly select all of them by clicking the start scene and shift-clicking the end scene. Those two scenes and all of the ones in between will be selected. You can then continue like normal.

Now here’s the cool part. When you go to the chapter list page you get something like this:


On this page you will see all of your chapters, of course, but you’ll also see roll-ups of the scenes within those chapters! So, you can see at a glance the number of scenes in a chapter, which characters appear in the chapter, which settings, etc. The bottom row is simply a placeholder for all scenes that are not assigned to a chapter. Pretty nifty screen, huh? 😉

The last component of chapters is the chapter sorter. It works exactly like the other sorters but with one distinction that you should understand before you use it. The scene and character sorters, for example, merely sort the individual entries. Sorting chapters, however, implies that you are also sorting scenes. For example, in the screenshot above, moving chapter 2 to be first means that the scene in chapter two will be placed before the scene in chapter one. The same thing would apply if there were multiple scenes in a chapter — the whole range of scenes would move but the order within the chapter stays constant. Basically, where the chapter goes the scenes go, too. It makes sense and I believe it’s intuitive but I just wanted to mention that so that you’re not surprised.

Finally, I’d like to point out that using chapters is purely optional. You only need to do as much organization as you want to.

So, that’s chapters, folks! I hope you like it and feel free to ask questions or make comments below.





Copying characters, settings, and items between stories

By Mike Fleming (@hiveword) on February 2, 2015 6:57 am

The Hive’s been buzzing lately with new features! As of today you can now copy characters, settings, and items between stories in Hiveword. Copying saves a ton of time if you are working on a series and need to get the same characters, for example, in each story.

I’d like to point out these are indeed “copies.” Copies are a snapshot of the source data at the time of the copy. Using a character as an example, this means that the original character and the copied character can change independently. In other words, the characters are not linked. I did it this way because a character’s “wants” in Story A could be different than his wants in Story B. This same logic also applies to settings and items.

I know what you’re thinking: “I know what ‘copying’ means, Mike, just tell me how to do it already!” Ok, ok! Sheesh.

Here’s how you do it:

Go to the story you want to copy to.

The characters, settings, and items menus now have a new entry for copying. Here’s the one for characters:


Click on the last entry to copy characters.

You’ll be presented with a page like this:


For each story you have (besides the one you are copying to, obviously) you’ll see the list of characters. In this example, I only have one other story. Simply click the characters you want to copy and click the Copy Characters button. Note that you can quickly select a range of characters by clicking the first character and then shift-clicking the last one. After you click Copy Characters you’ll be taken to the characters list for the story you copied to like in the following screenshot:


You can always go back and copy more characters if you’d like. If you do, there will be a subtle difference from the first time:


Notice that Hiveword knows that you already copied two of the characters and is warning you so that you don’t get unintentional duplicates. If you copy them again you’ll get another character in your story with the same name. If the source character changed in the interim, the new character will reflect that new data while your old copy will not. Remember, copied characters are snapshots in time and not links.

I hope you like this new feature. Let me know what you think in the comments. And stay tuned because a bigger feature is coming within the next week or so!