Monday, April 19, 2010

Inspiration and Introduction

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” ~Stephen King

Hello. My name is Brandi, and I can't read directions...

I had no clue how the posting on this blog went until about, oh, thirty minutes ago, lol. What can I say? It’s been one of those days. I got some upsetting news today, so I’ve been in a foul mood most of the day. I’m over it now. *wink, wink* Now, with my complaining out of the way, lol, onto the good stuff.

I’m a pre-pubbed author—actually that’s not exactly true. I have published a paranormal erotic romance under a joint pen name but that partnership fizzled. *sigh* Now I’m flying solo, but I’m still writing paranormal romances hot enough to set my computer on fire! I live in central Arkansas with my hubby, our two beautiful little girls, and our two very annoying dogs. When I’m not writing or keeping my husband, er, kids in line I’m…well, actually, that’s pretty much all I do, so scratch that last sentence.

I’m going to veer away from the paranormal for this post and talk about the 2nd greatest software program a writer could ever have. It's called Inspiration. OMG, I LOOOOOVE IT! (Now if only I could afford a Mac so I can get Scrivener too; talk about a drool-worth program! But I digress…)

A friend of mine from my local RWA chapter, Candace Irvine, turned me onto Inspiration. A brief description of program: software that allows you to create "information bubbles" and then link the "bubbles" to other bubbles. (Sound confusing? I’ll show you an example so don’t worry.) These "information bubbles" can be characters, chapters, murder victims...whatever! It's soooo perfect for the visual writer.

Here's a whittled-down example using the main villain from my paranormal romance Surrendering to Darkness:

Awesome, right? :)

In my full Inspiration file for Surrendering to Darkness, I show how my villain here is linked to my hero/heroine. I also show how my villain's "accidental informant" relates to my hero/heroine, how the villain's dead wife relates to the hero, etc. It’s this huge web of character relations that's super visual.

Now, if you like the freedom of the bubbles for brainstorming but think you'd rather have it in outline form when you actually sit down to problem. Inspiration lets you switch back and forth.

Here's what the above-pasted section looks like in outline:

Anton Dimarco



I. Rachel Dimarco (vamp)

accidental informant

II. Veronica Moons (vamp)

"captain of the guards"

III. Ryker (demon)


A. Army of Minions (various)


B. delivery driver (human)


C. Dean (vamp)

sex slave

IV. Garnet (human)

Like I said before, I love this program. I can't rave about it enough, but since I’m sure you don’t want me to rave on and on and on and on and on...I'll shut up. :)

Until next time...

(Oh and I promise I’ll talk paranormal stuff—maybe even share my experiences from the cemetery walk my local chapter took with a group of "real" ghost hunters!)


~Brandi Evans

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Arlene said...

Wow. A bubble outline to keep character connections straight. Too bad I dont have a Mac. Thanks for a glimpse into your world, Brandi. Garet is a great name for a sex slave.

Arlene said...

I mean, Garnet, I can't type.

Brandi Evans said...

Arlene, you can Inspiration on a Mac or a PC! Scrivener is only for Mac though. *sigh*

Brandi Evans said...

Apparently, I can't type either, lol. I left the word "get" out of my previous comment.

rebecca said...

Weclome! I hope you have success flying solo! and I love the bubble outline!!

Barbara Elsborg said...

Wow, you are ORGANISED!! It sounds a very useful program and I expect you get as much out of it as you put into it. It looks very impressive.

Cate Masters said...

I always wondered what writing software actually did. Thanks for the info.
If someone would invent a USB port to download stories fully formed from my head to the computer, I'd snap that up in a second. :)

Marie Dees said...

Scrivner is only for Mac but check out Liquid Story Binder for the PC. Although I still use Writers Cafe Storylines more even though it's less fancy.