Features Currently Available in StorySurfer Integrated Writing Environment
Building on the most-easily-recognizable standard Windows menu structure, you'll find menus for
file operations, editing tasks, story structure creation, wizards and task-completers, program options and settings, as well as the ubiquitous help menu.
Create a new story file; open an existing one; save or close the current file; or exit the program.
Select, cut, copy, and paste operations.
Create Data operations
Create items from the second segment of this help topic.
Wizards and task handlers
Use wizards from the third segment of this help topic.
Tools and Options
Change how you use StorySurfer and some of the defaults.
Look up topics and answers to questions about the program.
I'm still modifying the visual presentation of my program, which is currently in the format of a main form containing a tabbed page component.
Each tab is a specific module within the program, and is linked to a specific dataset from the datamodule form. The modules I have included are:
It should be said that some of the individual page tabs are still far from being finished.
For example, I don't use magic in my stories, as I'm only writing Science Fiction stories.
If you have questions, comments, or examples for me to include for those of you who do, don't hesitate to send them to me
(as per the details on my contacts page).
Books and Chapters and Story Plots, Oh My!
I presume, for anything bigger than a small or short story, or small novelette,
the major bulk of the data will be within this module (if the user is anything like me and tends to overdo it on specific detail);
The people or individuals within the story. Includes a groupbox for each of the following:
Physical Traits and Appearance
Traits such as height, weight (at least, at what is considered "normal" gravity), hair/fur color, eye color, skin/exoskeletal type and color.
Raw Statistical Facts
Items such as date, time, and place of birth - things that are not bound to change.
If applicable, it will show the character's position or title in government matters.
If applicable, it will show the character's position or title in military matters.
This should, nearly always, be applicable; if so, it will show the character's position or title in social matters.
Relationship/Romantic/Sexual Status and/or History
Okay, I know, not always applicable;
but if you are going to have your character show either of the two emotional extremes, consider setting it up here.
This is where you might describe how they are normally, mentally or psychologically,
anything that may affect or modify the status-quo,
and what the resultant state may end up becoming.
But it would also contain the answers to questions, like:
What are the character's dreams, aspirations?
What does he/she/it think of his/her/it self?
How does the character think others feel or perceive themself?
- A generic set of memoranda fields, one of which (Psychological Status) may end up being changed into, instead of a groupbox;
- and various others, potentially listed on the
Items & Inventory
Characters may interact or use items in a story.
Location Is Everything
In fantasy and contemporary fiction, the user will most generally be dealing with just one world.
In science fiction, there may be several uncountable star systems, each of which may have more than one planet or colonized structure;
each in turn may have subdivisions of geography or political boundaries like continents, nations/kingdoms, states/territories/regions, counties etc.
Regardless, you can start at the level that most suits your story, then later add or remove
It could go on, ad infinitum:
a planet, a nation, a state or territory, a county, a city or town, a building, a particular room, et cetera....
Arranged in a hierarchical structure.
Magic & Spellcasting
I don't use this, but some people requested it. See the note at the end of this topic.
These may be governmental, military, commercial, religious, social, et cetera.
Obviously, they may be hierarchical, as with
. A government organization may have executive, judicial, legislative, and military organizations underneath it.
In case your story is one where different species exist (humanoid, alien, other etc.)
A simple list or check-list (I haven't decided how to present it) that is initialized with default hints and prompts for each fileset.
You may customize the list by adding or deleting items.
Vessels & Vehicles
The objects used to transport the characters through the plot and story.
Usable for anything from hand-carts, to major space vessels.
Obviously, someone may have a story confined to one world only, and not involving space travel, while another
(like me) will rely heavily on space travel for the plot, while yet another may mix the two.
I'm pondering diverging into two separate parts, but may not be necessary.
A page where odd bits and ideas may or may not fit anywhere else.
(But I'm thinking of creating a separate form for this one, with tabs for global options and local fileset options. As yet unfinished.)
- ... and a few others I've not yet fully finished conceptualizing.
Wizards automate processes that would otherwise take a lot of clicking and typing; while they won't completely eliminate it
(you'll still want to browse through the results to manually make minor adjustments), application wizards can auto-generate a lot of data in a short amount of time.
Character Generation Wizard
Create from one to a hundred characters at a time (default is ten).
Location Generation Wizard
Create from one to a dozen locations at a time (default is four).
Organization Generation Wizard
Create from one to ten organizations at a time (default is one).
Race/Species Generation Wizard
Create from one to a hundred species at a time (default is ten).