The Picture Day Update (Part Two) – Dabble v2.3 Release
This is the second part of our overview of the Dabble Picture Day Update. But you probably knew that already, since it’s in big letters above this. Still, if you haven’t checked out Part One, click here to read all about the image features coming to Dabble.One of the best parts of picture day, at least for the parents, is being able to share that picture with family and loved ones. That’s why the Picture Day Update (or, for the tech folks out there, v2.3) isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about sharing, too.
Share to Web
With this update, Dabblers can share their Book (or Part, Chapter, or Scene) with readers of their choosing via our new Share to Web feature. Gone are the days of exporting your manuscript or sections of it to a lame Word document.With Dabble’s Share to Web, you can generate a link that is unique to the version of your writing when that link is made. Your lucky readers (aka my dad, when I share my writing) will get an email with that link, bringing them to a read-only copy your writing. Dabble automatically generates a table of contents, a reading progress bar, and will remember where your reader leaves off if they close their browser.
You can manage the links you’ve shared out in the Project Settings, under Share to Web.
How to Share to Web with Dabble
We made sharing super easy, as all things in life should be. Just click or tap the three dots next to what you want to share (again, you can share your Book or a specific Part, Chapter, or Scene), then click or tap Share to Web.
That will bring up the Share to Web Box, which will allow you to share your work via an email or to view your shared copy. That will let you copy and paste the link wherever you want. If you choose to send by email, you can input a custom message and any emails you'd like the link to be sent to.
Plot Point and Note Cards
Dabble Note Cards are kind of shaped like photos, right? I’m sticking with this gimmick until the end and I’m not sorry about it.Dabble v2.3 comes with a few awesome changes to Plot Points and Note Cards.
Colored Note Card Ribbons
My wife is a huge fan of color-coding her scheduler and to-do lists, and that habit has sort of rubbed off on me. So imagine how happy I am now that Dabblers can label and color code Note Cards (Plot Points and Scenes) with ribbons.
Adding a ribbon is easy: all you have to do is click or tap on the three dots at the bottom of the Plot Point to open up the Plot Point Actions (or Scene Actions, if you’re using a Scene). Then click or tap on Add Ribbon. You can do this from a Plot Grid or in the Sidebar while writing in your Book, Part, Chapter, or Scene views. By default, it will create a red Ribbon, but you can choose a different color, depending on your needs.
You will automatically be able to edit the text on the Ribbon or leave it blank if you don’t want a label. If a Scene or Plot Point Card already has a Ribbon, you can open the Scene/Plot Point Actions list to edit or remove a Ribbon.Ribbons allow you to easily tag your notes so you can understand them at a glance. Use them to indicate red herrings, mark where a specific character is, note the presence of a super secret magic item, or anything you can come up with!
Easy Linking in Note Cards
Do you know what rocks? Easy navigation. Remember, we’re trying to make life easier here at Dabble. Writing a book is hard enough!To make navigating your Project a little easier, we’ve made it a breeze to link to different locations in your Book or Plot Grids from within a Note Card. Just type an @ symbol in one of your Note Cards to bring up a list of all your Notes, Scenes, and Chapters. If you just keep typing, that list will go away so you can continue writing whatever comes after @ these days.
Track Co-Authoring Changes
Last update, Dabble introduced the ability to add co-authors to your books. With potentially many hands in one pot, we’ve introduced the ability to track co-authoring changes. This will let you see just how your co-author has ruined (or, in most cases, improved) what you wrote.Co-authoring track changes aren’t enabled by default, but it’s easy to turn them on. Just go to the Project Settings and select Track Author Changes in the Co-Authoring box.
You can easily toggle the coloring of these changes on and off by clicking or tapping on the Toggle Features button in the Right Nav Menu.
A Few Quality of Life Features
In an effort to make your writing experience easier and, honestly, more fun, the Picture Day Update has a few other quality of life features that I can’t tie into a decent picture-oriented joke. To save all our sanities, here is a quick rundown.Read to me is now available for Dabble Premium. Select the Word Tools Menu from the Right Nav Menu, highlight the text you want read (or don’t highlight anything to read the entire section you are in), and click or tap the Read to Me play button at the bottom of the Word Tools Menu. You can change the voice that reads to you under Preferences.Thesaurus is a handy new feature for Premium users for the millionth time you’ve used the same word. It also lives in the Word Tools Menu. You can either type a word into the Thesaurus search bar or highlight the word(s) you want to replace. Dabble will automatically find some alternative words, and you can simply click on a word to swap it with what you’ve highlighted. Please note that the Thesaurus feature is currently only available in English.Dictionary Maintenance is now available in the User Settings dropdown (the same place you’ll find your Preferences, Profile, etc. This allows you to delete words you’ve added to your dictionary.Exporting is now easier. Under Project Settings, you can set up default export settings. Note that some of these settings are only available for Book exports. Exporting to Word also defaults to exporting images in Notes, Parts, Chapters, and Scenes, but you have the option to export images when exporting a Book, too.The Delete Key will now delete items you have selected in the Left Navigation Pane. Just click or tap to select and hit delete. Easy as that. Don’t worry, anything you delete will go to the Trash, so you can recover things you accidentally deleted. Or laugh at the scene you hate because it’s where it belongs now.
Go Forth and Dabble!
Even though we're bringing you all these awesome new features in the Picture Day Update, our focus at Dabble remains the same: give you the tools you need until you need them out of your way. Even with all this fun stuff being added, you'll be able to focus on what matters most: your story.If you haven't already, head on over to our community for writers (Dabblers and non-Dabblers alike) at the Story Craft Café and let us know which of the new features is your favorite! We'll see you there!
Book marketing. Those two innocuous words instill fear and loathing into the hearts of so many writers. You just want to write your books and have them sell themselves. Why do you have to tell people about it? Well, Susan, because you do. I know you want to write, but if your goal is to write, publish, and make money from your books, then you’re going to have to find a way to make them visible. Thousands of new titles are uploaded to Amazon every single day. Millions of books are being published every year, and no matter how good your story is, without marketing, there’s not much chance very many people will find it.
What kind of writer are you? Are you the sort who writes a meticulous outline that tips into the five digits or the type who sits down in front of a blank sheet of paper and lets the words pour out of you like a runaway train? Did you know there are specific terms for this kind of writing? Writers will come up with words for anything, I swear. Plotters are the first type of writer. They like to have detailed outlines that tell them exactly where their story is going. Pantsers are the other type of writer, which is kind of a weird name, but the term was coined by Stephen King (a famous pantser) to describe writing by the seat of your pants. Cute, eh? There is no right or wrong way to write your book, and I’m going to repeat this so many times. The right way is the way that works for you.
Dystopian fiction is one of the darker subgenres of science fiction and fantasy. It takes us into dark, foreboding worlds, where oppression and bleak landscapes are the norm. Books like 1984 by George Orwell, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley have become classics that shine a light on political corruption, environmental disaster, and societal collapse.Why do we love these stories? Maybe it's because dystopian fiction allows us to explore worst-case scenarios, to grapple with the idea that the world we know and love could be lost forever. It's a way for us to confront our fears and anxieties about the future, to see what could happen if we continue down a certain path.