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Welcome to Fortelling! Are you ready to embark on your journey toward writing the book of your dreams? Don't know where to start? We're here to help.
Fortelling offers a wide range of tools to help you achieve your goal. Writing a book is, for many people, a dream, but only a few manage to finish their projects. Most of the time, this is due to the lack of organization. It is very daunting to open up your text editing software and start. Many people can write the first 5-8 chapters, but after that, numbers drop. Organizing your ideas can help to stay motivated and keep the overview.
If you're completely new to Fortelling, have a look at our homepage for a quick overview of what we got to offer.
There is no right way to use Fortelling. Every author has their own ways to write. There is however a general step-by-step plan you can use to write a book with Fortelling.
Timeline: A chronologically ordered list of events that represent the story.
Many people I’ve met tell me that they already have the story planned out in their mind. However, most of them don’t. All they’ve come up with is a setting for a story. A novel, however, is more. That’s why this tool helps you to get an overview of the complete story.
If you’re still looking for an excellent plot, don’t overthink it. Seek inspiration in your daily life, transform it a bit, and there it is. Unfortunately, my app can’t help you with this. I believe creativity is something unique to a human; I can’t program it. Eventhough AI is getting pretty close nowadays.
You can jot out loads and loads of ideas on an empty sheet of paper (probably by creating a mindmap) or type everything in the ideas section of the app. When you’ve got a clear overview of all the possibilities, try to highlight the ones you like the best. Look if you can merge some of them into one great plot that has an excellent build up.
Okay, so you’ve thought of a plot, and you're feeling happy about it. It’s unique, fresh and will make the readers’ head explode of anticipation to the ending (hopefully not literally). Now you can start to think about how you’ll build up your plot. How will the story develop? What will happen to the main character(s)? What will happen in the background? (things that won’t be told to the user as an event in the book but are important for a full backstory)
The app allows you to create and reorder your events at any time. Even when you come back later, you’ll be able to rearrange them. I recommend giving each event a short name with a description that contains the following information: what’s happening; why it’s important; how it will change the plot;
Make sure that (almost) every event has a useful role in the novel. This will keep your story clear to the reader.
Character: The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
You’ve finished the timeline of your story, although you probably already created some characters in your mind, the next step is to list them all. This way you can keep track of all their habits, emotions, and their personal backstory. The app enables you to plan out your character in-depth. You can do this by filling in a huge collection of forms in several domains: General, Appearance, Personality, History and Story.
Example: Mae, a waitress, has a red cat. By noting down something like this small detail, you can fill up empty gaps in the future. This will also prevent you from making errors like telling that Mae’s cat is black.
Give your most important characters a tag. This way you’ll be able to identify the characters you need much quicker. You can also group characters together by giving them tags. (E.G. all villains will get the ‘Villain’ tag.) This way you can just search for a group.
To give your characters more character (see what I did there?) you can easily add a picture of them. Create a mood board by adding more images that are related to your character. You can swipe right between images, or tap on a image to view them as a gallery.
Location: A particular place or position.
Next thing to do is to record and document all your locations in a hierarchical way. By doing this correctly, you can literally walk through your virtual world. Fortelling enables you to create infinite sub locations to a location. You start with the most prominent area and add sub-locations to it.
Example: World > Countries > Cities > Streets > Houses > Floor of a house > Room
By doing this, you can keep an overview of your setting and eventually return to this specific location in a later part of the story. Now you won’t need to look up what you wrote about this specific location. You can use many fields to document your ideas.
It’s also possible to add multiple images to your locations, just like in characters.
Chapter: A main division of a book, typically with a number or title.
Now we’ve planned out our story, or at least at a rough scale, we have to start thinking about how we want to present these events to the reader. There are multiple ways we can do this: chronologically or not chronologically (with flashbacks). You don’t want to tell the full story immediately but instead, reveal the events that happened in the past piece by piece. This way you’ll build up your novel. Another essential thing to think about is what perspective you’ll be using. Will you tell the story only from the main character point of view or some parts through the eyes of the antagonist.
Chapters can easily be reordered. Tap on a chapter and you’ll find 2 tabs:
- 1.Write: Use this tab to write your actual story.
- 2.Scenes: Go to step 5 to read more about the scenes tab. Just a quick notice already: scenes are only meant as a planning tool. The actual writing happens in the ‘Write’ tab.
Scene: A subdivision of an act of a play in which the time is continuous, and the setting fixed and which does not usually involve a change of characters.
In the previous step we decided what every chapter will be about. Now it’s time to decide how we will translate that main idea into different scenes that cover everything we want to tell during this chapter.
After the planning, or of course during, you can just swipe right and type your story in the ‘write’ tab. By switching between the 2 tabs you’ll always know what to write next. You won’t get lost in your writing and won’t find yourself writing irrelevant parts.
Let me introduce myself real quick. I’m Albert-Jan Plate, an 22 years old medical student who loves to write novels and develops this app in his spare time.
Many years ago I launched Writer Tools, an Android application with all the tools you need to plan, track and write your next novel. After a few years, Fortelling has replaced Writer Tools with many new and unique features (Read more). Fortelling is currently still in active development, and if you’d like to see something changed, please feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to help.
I hope you enjoy the app as much as I did while creating it. Happy writing!