UPDATE - 05/06/2012: A lot of people requested a desktop version of Fictify. Although I am not knowledgeable enough about desktop software development (haven't done it since college) and can't set a realistic stretch goal, I can tell you that all the extra pledges beyond the funding goal will be used for development of desktop versions, starting with the Mac version, then PC.
UPDATE - 05/05/2012: Funding goal surpassed! Thankyouthankyouthankyou everyone!
Also: new Facebook page and Twitter account:
UPDATE - 04/30/2012: I decided to use the MIT Open Source License, which is, from what I understand, the least restrictive. This way, programmers can tweak the Fictify code any way they want and use it wherever they want. I'll just ask of them that they treat Penbot nicely! Here's the license: http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php
UPDATE - 04/20/2012: We're opening up Fictify for testing on Sunday, April 22nd! All backers will receive a secret code that will allow them to create an account.
Why did I decide to start working on Fictify?
Whenever I lack the motivation or inspiration to sit down and write, I feel that a little encouragement, pat on the back, or kick in the butt is all I need to get back on track.
I love writing. I want to get published. Fictify will help me stay on track and write my novel(s).
What does Fictify do?
Fictify is a writing tool that prods, pushes, praises, and trash-talks.
Incentives, encouragement, bribes, and kicks in the buttocks
Fictify can provide this by analyzing a writer's writing sessions. It sends messages of encouragement when everything goes well and it raises red flags when progress is slow.
In other words, Fictify is an unobtrusive writing tool that offers a little structure and a lot of pep-talks! Consider it your personal trainer to keep your writing muscles in tip-top shape.
Automatic rewards and suggestions vs. human interaction
As the Fictify community grows, there will also be more interaction between writers. I don't intend for this tool to become a social network - I want to help authors write, not procrastinate - so the foundation of the community will be short tips, encouragement, and friendly progress competitions with like-minded writers.
Screenshots of what I have so far
Screenshot 1: What we do + signup page
I am trying to stay out of the way and allow writers to start using Fictify as quickly as possible. The signup form consists of only one field: the email address.
Screenshot 2: getting started
This is the first screen seen after the 5 second signup. No fluff. Just one option: start writing!
Screenshot 3: starting a new project
Writers have the option of setting a word count goal.
Screenshot 4: text editor
The text editor offers few formatting options - I feel that they take away from the real work at hand. A sidebar lets writers know when they reach milestones. Hopefully this is motivating and will help encourage writers to keep writing. You can also see a blue progress bar under the text editor.
There is no save button because Fictify saves progress every 5 seconds.
Screenshot 5: progress competitions
Writers are automatically matched with other writers with similar projects. Every writer can see how well they are doing compared to others.
Screenshot 6: Statistics
Fictify stores a lot of information to help writers be more productive. This data is used by the software to generate custom reports. Authors can also generate the report shown in the screenshot below whenever they want.
Screenshot 7: writing history
Curious writers can see a log of their progress on various projects.
Screenshot 8: badges and rewards
Writers are rewarded for their most important accomplishments.
Project details and budget
I am a computer systems analyst so I can program the application myself. The pledges will help pay for servers and design.
Concept and documentation:
UPDATED: Progress: 95%
UPDATED: Progress: 50%
Server setup and hosting for 1 year:
Web Design & Marketing Material:
Beyond the first year - keeping Fictify going:
Fictify will be an open-source application and the community will be able to contribute to the project.
Organizations like writing clubs and schools will be able to self-host the application for free for their own activities.
For funding beyond the first year, Fictify will use the "freemium" pricing model of individual accounts. Here's how it will go:
Free account: up to 1 novel or story in progress
This should be perfect for most of us -- I usually only write only one story at a time. Once an author is done with a project, it can be marked as complete and then a new story or novel can be started on the same free account.
"Wordsmith" Account ($5/month but will be free for life for pledgers of $20 or more): up to 5 novels or stories in progress
With this account, the author can jump from one project to another. Perfect for multi-taskers and authors who have professional as well as personal writing projects.
"Scribbler" Account ($10/month but will be free for life for pledgers of $100 or more): unlimited number of stories or novels in progress
Self-explanatory, don't you think?
Beyond the funding goal
I don't believe in fancy writing tools - my favorite tool is the Byword App for Mac because is just gets out of the way and lets me write. Fictify will be like that and it will add a human element to the often lonely task of writing. I don't want it to do more than that except for one thing:
Note-taking mobile app
I always write down notes, ideas, and what-ifs for my writing project - either on my phone or on paper. However, my notes have a tendency to get lost! I want a mobile app that will send my notes to Fictify as soon as I write them down so when I'm writing, all my notes are easy to access.
This mobile app isn't scheduled to be part of the beta release, but if the funding goes well, this is what I'll spend the extra funds on.
What do you think?
So, to recap, Fictify will be a writing tool that focuses on the writer -- on the individual -- not on the writing. You're a great writer; you don't need fancy text editing software and complex storyboarding apps.
A word of encouragement is often all our muse asks for.
What do you think?
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