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Nerdilydone
02-01-2016, 10:12 PM
So I'm trying to learn programming these days, and I want to create a program that helps writers, once I've actually learned to do stuff like that. Basically I want to create a program that easily tabulates wordcount, as well as keeps track of writer's goals and calendar related events. Also, I'd like it to post random inspirational messages or quotes every time the program is activated. It won't be anything that costs money, just something cute for fun.

This thread is to ask, what would be most helpful for you in a writer's program?

Kerosene
02-01-2016, 10:21 PM
Is this going to be a word processor? Or not?

Jamesaritchie
02-02-2016, 09:53 PM
I can get all that, and more, from small word processors now. What I need is more real work tools, such as a good notebook that is can associate with an individual piece of writing.

Nerdilydone
02-03-2016, 08:02 PM
It's not going to be a wordprocessor, but more of a wordcount widget. Just to help people come November and stuff like that.

onesecondglance
02-03-2016, 08:58 PM
I'd go for something like that to help keep myself accountable.

Must haves:
- Super simple interface
- Ability to track multiple projects
- Graphs and other visualisations of progress made vs gap to target

It would be nice to have support for other kinds of tracking beyond wordcount - e.g.number of chapters edited, etc. - but that's not essential.

You could also consider light social elements, like seeing "friends" wordcounts, integration with Twitter or FB for updates, etc. Nothing that would require you to give up ludicrous permissions or spam people, though.

Get the basics right and people will want to use it anyway. Make sure you have those core features really solid before you start looking at fancy stuff - many a program has failed because it tried to do too many unimportant things.

jjdebenedictis
02-03-2016, 11:21 PM
It's not going to be a wordprocessor, but more of a wordcount widget. Just to help people come November and stuff like that.Okay, so like an events calendar specifically for writers? That sounds like a great project to start with! (Speaking as a woefully-amateur coder myself. :) )

Most of the things you mentioned would be good, such as a way to track word count, reminders about goals and events, and some pompom-waving to encourage the person.

One thing I'd find useful would be an "nag me if I'm goofing off" function, although I'm not sure how you could code for that. Basically, if the person is on the computer and their word processor is not the active window for a certain length of time, then the program pops up a positive reminder such as, "Be a writer! Make time for it; this is your dream!" or "Think of how proud you'll be when you finish your word count for today!"

Jamesaritchie
02-04-2016, 06:10 AM
It's not going to be a wordprocessor, but more of a wordcount widget. Just to help people come November and stuff like that.

There's already a bunch of those, plus several word processors with word count widgets, word count goals, writing speed timers, and other things, all designed for November.