Well, following Keith's advice in the Developer's & Code section of the forum, a friend and I have gone out and bought a couple books on programming for the Mac. While my friend is a web programmer by trade, I'm merely a programming dilettante who knows just enough to be dangerous.
Our books got delivered last week, and we're starting to work our way through them, but in the meantime, we've been talking about what kind of application we'd like to work on. Again, following Keith's model, we decided to work on an app that we'd want to use ourselves and that we can't find anywhere else but in our heads.
Since our idea relates to creative writing, I thought you folks might be able to brainstorm some features with us.
Now, like I said above, we are at the earliest stage possible when it comes to even LEARNING how to program, so the app we're "working" on is so far down the line it's not even in our sights yet. But since coming up with the app is half the fun, we figured we'd get started on that stuff now.
Anyway, our app idea is a Character Management application.
Here's an overview of it:
In a narrative of any significant length, it is difficult for the creative writer to keep track of the various details about a specific character. The writer often forgets what color eyes a character has, or what city or town she was born in, or what her job title might be, or whether there was a full moon on the day she fell in love. The writer might forget the character's mother's name, or whether she had a dog as a child, or any other of the hundreds of details that go into creating a complex and dynamic character with fears, urges, and desires.
This Cocoa application will help writers create, manage, and maintain an entire cast of fictional characters by providing a central location for all character-based data. It will provide a basic template to store physical, biographical, psychological, social, and narratological data on each and every character in a given story. At the same time, it will provide customizable fields that allow a writer to satisfy the character-related needs that are unique to her story.
I want to stress that our idea is not a character creation tool. It won't ask you to conform your story and characters to a predetermined structure based on some theory of what literature is "supposed" to be. Instead, it will just provide a central location to help you remember whatever character-related information is necessary for your particular story.
Of course, as a Scrivener user, I know there are various Scrivener-based solutions to the above problem, but I've yet to find one that works as well as I'd like. Ideally, we'd love to make our app a seamless companion to the Scrivener workflow, but that part of the project is way, way, way, way down the line....perhaps even further out than Scrivener 3...and before we get there, I'm interested in knowing:
- Whether a stand-alone character management app would be something you're interested in using;
- If so, what kind of features would be most helpful
I want to reiterate that we are at the earliest stage possible with this thing, so I make no promises on whether any of it will ever get off the ground. But if daydreaming about a new Mac OS X application sounds like you're kind of fun, we'd love to hear your ideas!
Thanks for helping out,